Mönchengladbach - Borussia Mönchengladbach begin their UEFA Europa League Group A campaign with a difficult home tie against Spanish side Villarreal CF on Thursday (kick-off 17:00 GMT/19:00 CEST).

bundesliga.com has an overview of all the essential pre-match information...

On paper at least, these two sides are the favourites to top Group A ahead of FC Zürich and Apollon Limassol FC, so a good start on Thursday could be crucial in determining who reaches the knockout stages as group winners.

Foals duo and Julian Korb returned to full training during the week, meaning head coach Lucien Favre has all hands on deck for the Spaniards' visit. He is unlikely to make changes to the line-up that thrashed Schalke 4-1 at the weekend, but highlighted that "we have six games in the next 18 days. We'll have to rotate at some point."

Mexico international striker Giovani Dos Santos (pictured) has been ruled out with a hamstring strain, while defenders Jaume Costa and Bojan Jokic will not feature either due to calf and knee injuries respectively. Nigerian forward Ikechukwu Uche is doubtful with a thigh complaint.

After needing a couple of weeks to find his feet at Gladbach, summer signing has burst into life of late. He notched a well-taken brace against Schalke last weekend, and the speed and skill in his link-up play with fellow attackers Max Kruse and Raffael was breathtaking at times.

In the probable absence of senior attacking figures Dos Santos and Uche, 20-year-old forward Luciano Vietto (pictured) is likely to get the nod up front. The Argentinian has already proven his credentials in the competition, scoring twice and providing an assist in Villarreal's two-legged play-off victory over Astana.

: "We're only focusing on Villarreal and want to kick things off by staying undefeated, ideally by taking all three points."

Gerard Moreno: "We're going to Gladbach to win. We know they'll pressure us right from the start but we're capable of competing with them and having a good game.

The hosts are undefeated in the Bundesliga this term, drawing two and winning one of their three matches to date. They also eased through the Europa League play-offs, beating FK Sarajevo 10-2 on aggregate. Villarreal are currently eighth in Spain's La Liga, having picked up four points from their three encounters so far.