Villarreal (4-3-3): Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Estupinan; Coquelin, Capua, Parejo; Moreno, Groenveld, Lo Celso. Subtitles: Asenjo, Mario, Alcacer, Iborra, Chukwueze, Trigueros, Pena, Pino, Mandi, Gomez, Pedraza, Aurier.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Musiala; Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski. Subtitles: Richards, Sule, Goretzka, Sane, Wanner, Sabitzer, Roca, Kouassi, Ulreich, Fruchtl, Tillman, Stanisic.
If you live in England you might not know this, but we’re here to confirm that this game is indeed happening – and that should be a good thing too.
Although Liverpool and Manchester City are the favorites to win the latest edition of Big Ears, only a fool would rule out Bayern Munich. Although Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski aren’t as good as they were when Bayern lifted the trophy the previous season, Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman are all better. Then when to that you add Leroy Sané with the imminent return of Alphonso Davies, you have a tough night for any team, no matter what.
Villarreal, however, aren’t making it easy for anyone. They’re organized, tough and have their fair share of flair – Arnaut Danjuma, Gerard Moreno, Samuel Chukwueze, Dani Parejo and Giovani Lo Celso are nobody’s cups.
And having the first leg at home will help them like against Juventus in the round of 16: they can use the crowd to fight their way into the draw and then sit out when they travel to Bavaria. On that score, Bayern’s inept performance at Salzburg will not have been lost on them – although neither will the 7-1 they followed.
Kick-off: 9:00 p.m. local time, 8:00 p.m. BST