Alexandre Pato and Roberto Soriano are among the new boys included in Fran Escriba’s first Villarreal XI for tonight’s Champions League playoff against Monaco.
Injuries to Cedric Bakambu and Roberto Soldado, plus Jonathan dos Santos and Denis Cheryshev, see Pato – along with fellow new arrival Rafael Santos Borre – plunged straight into the Villarreal side as they look to take a first-leg advantage on home soil.
Nicola Sansone, another of the Yellow Submarine’s big-money signings, has not been registered in time for the match, although Eric Bailly’s replacement Alfred N’Diaye and left-back Jose Angel have for their official debuts.
Monaco, meanwhile, are without Radamel Falcao following another injury but welcome back former Barcelona target Bernardo Silva, who plays behind Valere Germain in a different attack to the one that started last Friday’s 2-2 draw with Guingamp.
The Principality outfit faced Valencia at the same stage of the Champions League last season but were beaten 4-3 over both legs as Los Che qualified for the group stage.
Villarreal: Asenjo; Mario, Musacchio, N’Diaye, Jose Angel; Soriano, Trigueros, Bruno; Castillejo, Santos Borre, Pato
Subs: Fernandez, Hernandez, Rukavina, Larrea, Cantalapiedra, Bueno, Gonzalez
Monaco: Subasic; Raggi, Glik, Jemerson, Mendy; Dirar, Fabinho, Bakayoko, Lemar; Silva; Germain
Subs: Badiashile, Moutinho, Carrillo, Cavaleiro, Traore, Jean, Diallo
Referee: Brych [GER]