Villarreal coach, Unai Emery, expects a huge test in their Champions League opener against Atalanta.
The Yellows begin their Champions League campaign as the champions of last season’s UEFA Europa league, in a group that will see them meet their opponents from that final once again, Manchester United, as well as Young Boys of Switzerland.
Emery said, “It’s the first time that we are going to face Atalanta. They’re a team like Villarreal, with a recent history in the Champions League and growth since Gasperini arrived, he has taken them to the top four in Italy and got them into the Champions League. We are excited to be facing them and to start our Champions League campaign at the Estadio de la Cerámica. We want to take on the challenge of facing a great Atalanta side and show what we’re capable of doing.
“The aim is to win every match. It’s a short competition, over six games, with some at home and some away. The favourites are Manchester United, and then Atalanta, because they’re a very strong opposition, then it’s us and Young Boys. We can’t differentiate between each game, because in each one of them the three points are unique and you always need to try and get them.”
Emery also revealed Dani Parejo and Gerard Moreno are fit for the game.
He stated: “Parejo’s injury is behind him. He’s been training with the group for two weeks and he’s feeling good. Dani brings us experience and stability in terms of play and what that means is that he’s an important player in high-level matches. He’s ready to play. In midfield, he has a number of things that help the team. Gerard Moreno is also good. He came back from his national team with some discomfort, we gave him two or three days rest. He’s trained as normal. Not having played has given us more time to train and he’s in good shape.”
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