Madrid: Villarreal will look to stabilise a worrying start to the season when they face Bayern Munich in their first group game in the Champions League football on Wednesday.
The Spaniards need a win to regain confidence after kicking off their La Liga campaign with a 0-5 defeat away to Barcelona and a 2-2 draw at home to Sevilla on Saturday night.
Villarreal will draw some comfort from Saturday' s result, given that they were forced to play for 70 minutes with a player less after goalkeeper Diego Lopez was sent off in the 21st minute.
Although Wednesday's clash is only the first of their group matches, it is possibly the most important for the Spanish club.
Bayern Munich were Champions League finalists in 2010 and their Allianz Arena is the venue for this season's final. As a result, the Germans will arrive highly motivated for the clash.
With Italian side Napoles and big spending Manchester City the other two rivals, Villarreal look to be in the toughest qualification group and one where points will be a premium.
Manchester City look to be the most powerful of the four sides, but it is clear that the route to the last 16 of the competition will be decided by how Villarreal perform in front of their own fans in the El Madrigal Stadium.
"It is a difficult challenge, but it is also attractive," Villarreal midfielder, Xinhua quoted Bruno Soriano as saying.
"We will have to play as if we are a big club, but playing at home we are able to beat them."
Bayern will travel without Dutch international Arjen Robben, who is struggling with a groin injury.
"Robben is an important player, but sides like this always have a lot of players who can make a difference and don' t depend on just one man," said Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez.
Villarreal will be without midfielder Borja Valero, who has to serve a three-match suspension after being sent off in the qualifying round of the competition. They will look for strikers Giuseppe Rossi, Nilmar and Marco Ruben to lead their attack and commence their European adventure with all three points.