Villarreal hosts Rayo Vallecano on Saturday afternoon at El Madrigal. The Yellow Submarine will face Manchester City in a last-chance Champions League match in midweek, so normally the league fixture would play second fiddle.
But not this time around. After the untimely news of Giuseppe Rossi's torn ACL in his right knee, along with the rumors swirling about the job security of manager Juan Carlos Garrido, today's match is worth more than just three points. It's time to start rebuilding the reputation of Villarreal CF.
Fringe players Gerard Bordas and Wakaso Mubarak are in the squad, while Carlos Marchena (injury? Better than legal troubles.) and Joan Oriol (in the doghouse) are omitted. And finally some good news: Ángel López returns after nine and a half months of inaction. Just like Rossi, Ángel tore the ACL in his (left) knee at the Bernabéu. Maldito campo indeed: we've still never won there.
I like the lineup suggested by AS:
Villarreal (4-2-2-2): Diego López; Mario, Zapata, Musacchio, Catalá; Senna, Bruno; Cani, Borja; de Guzmán, Ruben.
Jonathan de Guzmán may finally get his wish: to sit right behind the front line. This role was formerly occupied by David Fuster under Ernesto Valverde; both player and coach are now in Greece. Makes you wonder.
The match begins at 12 noon Eastern Time. No TV coverage in the U.S. (thanks, Valencia), but expect streams. Unity + commitment = 3 points. Endavant Villarreal!