Fran Escriba is warning “a much more difficult match than people think” for Villarreal when his Europa League chasers face Leganes on Saturday.
Three defeats in five games have left Villarreal clinging onto fifth place in La Liga as just two points separate them and the teams outside the European spots.
“This is a very complicated and difficult match, much more than people think,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“Leganes are competing well and have less points than they really deserve for their performances.
“They come into the game from playing well in Seville, San Sebastian and Real Madrid, so we’re expecting tough opponents.”
Defender Victor Ruiz is banned for the visit of Leganes, who are only afloat by the virtue of their rivals continuing to drop points, given the Madrid minnows have lost three on the bounce.
“Villarreal have been doing things incredibly well for years,” explained boss Asier Garitano.
“They didn’t have a straightforward start to the season, with the Change of coach, but they’re a team that have played in Europe and their intention is to be back in Europe.
“They’re a great team. What interests us is that Leganes have chances, that we can have a good game [at Villarreal] and look for points. That’s the idea.”
Attackers Nabil El Zhar and Alexander Szymanowski have been ruled out through injury, so Samu Garcia is set to feature against his former team.
Villarreal (probable): Andres Fernandez; Mario, Musacchio, Alvaro Gonzalez, Costa; Jonathan, Bruno, Trigueros, Soriano; Bakambu, Soldado
Injuries/suspensions: Cheryshev (I) Asenjo (I) Ruiz (S)
Leganes (probable): Herrerin; Tito, Mantovani, Siovas, Diego Rico; Ruben Perez, Moran; Unai, Gabriel, Samu; Guerrero
Injuries/suspensions: Machis, El Zhar, Omar, Robert, Serantes, Szymanowski (all injured)
Referee: Jaime Latre
Form guide: Villarreal (L W W L L) Leganes (L L L D D)
Previous meeting: Leganes 0-0 Villarreal
Kick-off time: 15:15 BST/16:15 CET