Villa not taking Lithuania lightly
The reigning champions and FIFA World Cup™ winners battled to a 3-1 win over Raimondas Zutautas' side in Salamanca in October, with all the goals coming in the second half. And they will be hot favourites to maintain their 100 per cent record in the group tomorrow despite a playing surface in Kaunas which is unlikely to suit their slick passing game.
Villa, though, warned: "In the Salamanca game it was hard to break the two lines of four in defence. We expect a similar game and will try not to neglect our defence against the counter-attack. We have a big game and know that we have to come here fully focused. The important thing is to leave with victory and nobody suffers a major setback."
Lithuania have taken four points from three games so far - their only defeat coming in Salamanca - but go into the game on the back of a 2-0 friendly win over EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland on Friday. "You have to believe, otherwise you'll never win," Zutautas said. "There is no need to motivate the men. Everyone knows they are playing the champions. "The key will be to break down Spain's play because if we give them possession easily, it'll be extremely difficult."
Defender Marius Stankevicius, who plays for Valencia, apologised for the state of the pitch, adding: "I am sad about the conditions in which we are welcoming teams such as Poland and Spain. It's a shame for Lithuania."
Behind Spain, the group remains tightly poised but the Czech Republic can take a huge step forward if they beat the group's bottom side, Liechtenstein, tomorrow. The Czechs will look to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to Spain, brought about by Villa's brace which took him past Raul as his country's all-time record goalscorer.
The Czechs lead Scotland and Lithuania by two points in the race for second place, and defender Zdenek Pospech told reporters: "There is no danger we will underestimate Liechtenstein because we know that these games against any team other than Spain will be crucial. We cannot afford to lose them. At home, we must not lose points. We have to win."