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Villarreal looking to pile more misery on struggling Juventus – Sports Africa


Action returns in the Uefa Champions League tonight with Villarreal looking to make it three wins out of three in the knockout stages when they face Italian giants Juventus in the round of 16 on Tuesday night.

The Spanish side are competing in the Champions League for the fourth time in their history, having reached the knockout stages on their two previous occasions, reaching the last eight in 2009 and the semifinals in 2006.

The side coached by the experienced Unai Emery go into the home leg of their tie with Juventus in excellent form, after Saturday’s 4-1 win away to Granada lifted them to sixth in the La Liga table after a run of six wins, two draws (against Atletico and Real Madrid) and just one defeat.

Arnaut Danjuma was Villarreal’s standout player on Saturday, scoring his first hat-trick in Spain and helping compensate for the loss of Spain international striker Gerard Moreno with a muscle problem.

Emery will again be without Moreno on Tuesday night, but will be able to put Paco Alcacer and Samuel Chukwueze into his side after both were rested at the weekend.

Juan Foyth could also come into defense after he spent most of Saturday watching from the subs’ bench.

Francis Coquelin and Ruben Pena both miss out along with Moreno due to injury, while Emery will have to see if Etienne Capoue is available after the French midfielder wasn’t able to play at the weekend.

Juventus also have some key absences for Tuesday’s game, with Argentina’s Pablo Dybala a key loss after suffering an injury in Friday’s derby against Torino. He joins Daniele Rugani, who was injured in the pre-match warm up, on the injury list, along wth club captain Giorgio Chiellini and very probably Leonardo Bonucci.

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