Villarreal will be without key central midfielder Marcos Senna for the visit of Benfica.

Better news comes from playmaker Juan Román Riquelme who is available after missing the 1-1 draw with Alaves at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Benfica are without both goalkeeper José Moreira and Italian striker Fabrizio Miccoli. Nonetheless, coach Ronald Koeman has vowed to attack tonight.

Koeman said: “Our attitude is that, although Villarreal are difficult opponents to play against, we come here to win.

“Benfica entered the Champions League draw as fourth seeds so our basic aim must be to outperform that and finish a minimum third in the group which would secure UEFA Cup football. But if we could finish second and qualify for the Champions League knockout stages then we would have performed fantastically.

“I think this is going to be an open, exciting game, and even though players like Riquelme are very dangerous, and Villarreal have a few of them, we will not play with individual marking,” Koeman added.

Villarreal meanwhile, will be looking for Riquelme and last season’s leading scorer Digo Forlan to re-establish their rapport.

And after two consecutive 0-0 draws in Group D, Forlán believes the time has come for Villarreal to pick up their first victory.

“This is probably the key game of our entire group campaign,” said the Uruguayan striker.

“Benfica are our direct rivals for the second qualification spot and the minimum we have to do is take three home points then one from the return fixture. Failing to win this game would make qualification significantly more complicated.”

“Portuguese teams like to play good football and they always depend on good technical players,” he said.

“Benfica will clearly take strength from the result they achieved against Porto at the weekend, but I believe we have a terrific squad full of talented players who are more than capable of getting the victory we must achieve.”

José María Romero returns for Villarreal after a four-game suspension, while Alessio Tacchinardi is expected to stand in for the injured Senna. Geovanni will fill in for Miccoli.