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Unai Emery issues verdict on Villarreal’s favourites tag ahead of Conference League opener

The Yellows are joint-favourites with West Ham according to most bookmakers

Villarreal CF v Elche CF - LaLiga Santander
Emery is playing it cool
Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Unai Emery has spoken ahead of Villarreal’s Europa Conference League opener with Lech Poznan.

The Yellows have enjoyed a superb start to their La Liga campaign, picking up 10 points from four games, and keeping a clean sheet in each of those outings.

Villarreal have placed plenty of emphasis on European competition in the last two years, winning the Europa League and then reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

Those efforts have seen the Yellows more or less sacrifice their La Liga efforts, and it’s expected it will be the reverse, to some degree, this season.

Though, Emery does love a European run, and this will be his first season in the recently former Conference League.

So, what does he think of Villarreal’s chances, keeping in mind the Yellows are listed as joint favourites with most bookmakers.

“Winning is very difficult,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “Yes, it will be a beautiful path, but also complicated.

“We cannot set ourselves the goal of winning the competition. The first goal we set for ourselves is to finish first in the group stage”.

Having qualified with a two-legged win over Hajduk Split, Villarreal open their group stage campaign against Lech Poznan on Thursday.

And speaking ahead of the clash, Emery said: “We want to give continuity to what we have done both the preseason and at the start of LaLiga.

“We also want to strengthen the style, being demanding in the search for good performances and being able to get excited on this road through Europe, which has allowed us to experience very beautiful moments”.