Villarreal target City upset
Under-pressure Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido believes his inexperienced youngsters can defy the odds and beat Manchester City on Wednesday.
Villarreal have endured a miserable start to the season compounded by the loss of a host of key players to injury. Despite claiming a much-needed and morale-boosting win over Rayo Vallecano at the weekend, the 'Yellow Submarines' are a disappointing 13th in the Primera Division and without a point in Champions League Group A.
They were unfortunate to lose to a last-gasp Sergio Aguero goal at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago but have since lost their most dangerous player that night, star striker Giuseppe Rossi, to long-term injury.
With the likes of Nilmar, Marco Ruben, Marcos Senna, Javier Camunas, Cani and Cristian Zapata also sidelined, Garrido has been forced to call up young strikers Joselu and Adolfo Enriquez from the B and C teams.
Garrido said: "We have reached the tipping point - we cannot afford to have any more injuries - but it is not new. It has been a problem since the start of the season.
"We have got to believe we can do it and play to the maximum. The hope is the young players can prove a revelation at this time. We are playing in the Champions League and this will be a good moment for them to prove themselves."
Villarreal's win on Saturday was their first in eight games in all competitions and only their third all season. After finishing fourth in Spain last season, the campaign so far has been a major disappointment and their task against Premier League leaders City at El Madrigal would appear a daunting one.
Yet Garrido is not fazed ahead of the must-win clash and has no intention of sacrificing the competition to shore up domestic issues.
The 42-year-old said: "We think the same as always. We are playing a great team in Manchester City. They are very high in the league, but we will try to do our very best.
"It is obvious we have to win. We have to play our own game 100% and look to create opportunities. We will have 11 players on the field and even if we are inexperienced in the front line everyone will play to win.
"Always when we play we have to win. It not a case of choosing between the two leagues. We have to believe in everybody and every game is important."
Villarreal performed creditably in Manchester but the 2-1 loss, after taking an early lead through Cani, left them seven points behind group leaders Bayern Munich.
Garrido added: "Of course we missed a big opportunity last time but with that result you have two options - you can feel down or you can grow under the situation. That is the way to go."