Bayer 04 Leverkusen have ground to make up when they host Villarreal for the second leg of their Europa League tie at BayArena on Thursday.
A brace from Cedric Bakambu gave the Yellow Submarine a 2-0 aggregate lead from the first leg at El Madrigal, meaning that they can effectively put the tie to bed by scoring again in Germany.
That defeat in Spain came during a period of bad form for Leverkusen, but they returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 victory over Hamburg on Sunday. The Germans need two goals to force extra time, so they will most likely set themselves out for attack.
Villarreal enter the game on the back of a troublesome 4-2 defeat to Sevilla in La Liga, in which Bakambu also scored twice, but letting in four goals will be a worry as they prepare to defend their lead against Leverkusen’s talented creative players.
Should Leverkusen manage to pull two goals back then the tie will head to extra time, but a draw of 3-3 or higher would see Villarreal progress on the away goals rule.
In team news, Leverkusen defender Tin Jedvaj is suspended after picking up a red card in the first leg, while their are injury doubts with Charles Aranguiz (foot) Sebastian Boenisch (thigh), Roberto Hilbert (shoulder), Kevin Kampl (calf), Lars Bender (thigh) and Omer Toprak (thigh).
For Villarreal Jonathan Dos Santos (hamstring), Jaume Costa (ankle), Mateo Musacchio (hamstring) and Samu (foot) are all expected to miss out.