Cazorla revels in United test
Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla has spoken of the respect he holds for Manchester United.
By Francisco Acedo
Last Updated: 17/09/08 1:10pm
Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla has spoken of the respect he holds for Manchester United ahead of Wednesday night's clash between the two clubs.
Manuel Pellegrini's talented Yellow Submarines travel to Manchester as underdogs in Group E's UEFA Champions League opener, but aware their hosts have not enjoyed the best of starts this season.
Spain international Cazorla is confident Villarreal will give a good account of themselves in England but concedes they could have been handed an easier task than lining up first against the European champions.
"The match at Old Trafford is emotive and hard for us," Cazorla told skysports.com.
"It's an authentic test for Villarreal if we want to go far in Europe. The squad is very focused on this match, even though we have suffered injuries in our attack.
"To begin in Manchester against the European champions is not the best but it's necessary to give a good account (of ourselves) in England."
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to figure at some stage on Wednesday for the first time this season but while conceding his admiration for the Portuguese, Cazorla insists there are plenty of other United players to worry about first.
"With or without Ronaldo, United are a super team with enormous quality. In the Premier League they have started with problems but they possess men to react to the situation.
"The key in Manchester is the line of attack. With players like Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney, it is very difficult to stop any danger."
Manchester United have been installed as favourites to progress as group winners but Cazorla believes Villarreal are more than capable of competing with Celtic and AaB - who make up the rest of the Group E.
"Villarreal should be aiming for the next round," he added.
"We are not inferior to the other clubs and we need to show that from the first game.
"A win would be a sensational success but Villarreal rule nothing out.
"The coach Pellegrini is calm. We do not need to change our normal system for Old Trafford. After the title with Spain at Euro 2008 I lived my best moment and I want to follow it with a big Champions League effort."