Villarreal will look to take a step closer to the Europa Conference League group stage on Thursday, when they welcome Hajduk Split to Spain for the first leg of their playoff tie.
The visitors scraped past Vitoria de Guimaraes in the third round to reach this stage, while Unai Emery‘s side are yet to play in qualification so far this season, instead entering in the final round before the tournament commences.
Hoping for some form of continental action this season, Emery should deploy a full-strength Villarreal side on Thursday, with star forward Gerard Moreno set to feature in attack.
Francis Coquelin, Etienne Capoue and Dani Parejo are all vying to feature in midfield with Samuel Chukwueze and new signing Jose Luis Morales also hoping to come in on the wings, while Pau Torres should operate in the middle of the back line, alongside either Jorge Cuenca or veteran Raul Albiol.
Alex Baena will give Emery another selection headache in attack, as he will hope to be rewarded with a start after coming off the bench to hit a brace in the win over Real Valladolid, in which Nicolas Jackson also netted his first goal for the first team.
Hajduk Split’s attack should be led by Marko Livaja, who has netted three goals in the opening three league games of the season.
Emir Sahiti is another attacking threat on the right wing, while former West Bromwich Albion man Filip Krovinovic remains a key player in midfield.
Further back, Vitoria de Guimaraes loanee Toni Borevkovic will hope for a first continental start for the side after being ineligible to play against his parent club in the third round, with Josip Elez and Stefan Simic both vying to keep their places.
Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Foyth, Torres, Cuenca, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Parejo, Coquelin, Morales; Baena, Moreno
Hajduk Split possible starting lineup:
Kalinic; Mikanovic, Borevkovic, Simic, Melnjak; Grgic, Vukovic; Sahiti, Krovinovic, Colina; Livaja
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