Sat, 16 Jan 2021

MADRID, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- La Liga leaders Real Sociedad will be without playmaker David Silva for their vital Europa League visit to play Dutch side AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night.

The veteran midfielder suffered a muscle injury in Sunday's 1-0 La Liga win away to Cadiz and will be out of action for around two weeks. Jon Guridi also misses the trip with a hamstring problem he picked up training on Monday.

The side from San Sebastian can't afford to lose on Thursday given that they are currently third in their qualifying group with the same number of points as both Thursday's rivals and Napoli, who beat them at home earlier in the second game of the group stage.

Villarreal will assure their place in the knockout stage of the competition if they win away to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Unai Emery's side travels to Israel after a 1-1 draw at home to Real Madrid at the weekend and will be confident of victory after brushing Maccabi aside 4-0 in their first meeting ahead of the international break.

Villarreal coach Unai Emery is likely to give a chance to fringe players, such as Take Kubo, who is rumored by the press to be considering leaving the club in January due to the lack of first team opportunities so far this season.

Finally Granada will look to recover from a dip in league form when they entertain Cypriot side AC Omonia.

Granada's recent games have been affected by an outbreak of coronavirus which even infected coach Diego Martinez, but they were close to full strength for Sunday's defeat at home to Valladolid.

The Spanish team enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win in Cyprus earlier this month, and a repeat of that would all but assure their presence in the knockout stages in the New Year.

More Barcelona News

Access More

Sign up for Barcelona News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!