Remember Xerez, Ernesto?
Uncomfortable times for Sr. Roig. The A team is floundering under Juan Carlos Garrido, having gone pointless in the UEFA Champions League group stage. And Villarreal B, directed by José Molina, also teeters on the brink of the drop zone in league play.
This afternoon sees the visit of Xerez CD to the Ciudad Deportiva. The visitors' lone top-flight appearance was in 2009-10, when the azulinos finished dead last and promptly went back down. But they beat us in Andalucía, sending the A team to the bottom of the Primera and marking the beginning of the end for manager Ernesto Valverde. Ugly.
The solid strike rate of former Villarreal man José Mari--20 goals in 42 matches--could not save Xerez's manager, fired earlier this week. Can we avoid the "new manager" curse this time around? It won't be for unfamiliarity, as Molina played with José Mari at Atlético Madrid.
Molina's squad is almost at full strength:
Keepers: Diego Mariño, Jorge.
Defenders: Kiko Olivas, Joan Truyols, Toño, Carlos Tomás, Jaume Costa, Florian Lejeune, Pere Martínez.
Midfielders: Gonzalo Castellani, Lucas Porcar, Marcos Gullón, Iriome, Toribio, Pedro Vázquez, Llorente.
Strikers: Kike López, Airam Cabrera, Gerard Moreno.
Absent are Dorian Dervite (injury) and Joselu Moreno (called up). A back four of Pere, Lejeune, Kiko, and Costa might finally lend some stability to the team. And we'll find out what we have up front.
The match begins at 12 noon Eastern Time and airs on Nou Dos in Spain. Uncertain about streams. Endavant minisubmarino!