Negotiations between Nilmar's agent and Sao Paolo are continuing, and he's been left out of the team list again for the home match against Barcelona. The team list is below: it has 19 players because Diego Lopez has been battling a case of the flu and it's not known if he'll be available or not. if he is, presumably Marino will be made available for the B team match.
Hernan Perez is NOT in the team--Javi Mata reports this is due to injury (some sort of muscle problem) rather than a coach's decision. Wakaso isn't either, still recovering form his operation for a broken nose, and of course Catala and Rossi are long-term absences.
Cristián Zapata does return. Will Molina go with Joselu as a second striker again, or play Ruben alone up top in some sort of 4-2-3-1 variant? We'll have to see.
Keepers: Diego López, César, Mariño.
Defenderss: Joan Oriol, Mario, Gonzalo, Ángel, Marchena, Zapata, Musacchio,
Midfielders: Marcos Senna, Bruno, Cani, Camuñas, Borja Valero, De Guzmán, Castellani.
Strikers: Marco Ruben, Joselu.
In other news, Villarreal will have advertising on the front of their shirt for this match. It's not really a sponsorship, but is promoting VIllarreal's new Chinese website and social network presence (the Chinese characters apparently give the name of Villarreal's Sina Weibo official account--Sina Weibo is like twitter). As you can see from the picture, it's nice but a little hard to see--the print could be darker, couldn't it? Still, it's something.
And Villareal have announced Shanghai Shenhua FC will be visiting February 9 and playing a friendly match at the Mini Estadi (admission free, I believe). Presumably Villarreal's team will be a mix of teams form the top three squads. And the Chinese club will do preseason training in Spain. All very good.
Nothing new on the Gio Dos Santos front either. An interesting comment from Mourinho that Granero might have gone to Betis (on loan, I suppose) but then Khedira got hurt. H'm.
A couple of articles for you to look at: Sportyou writes, watch out, Barcelona, "Jose Moulina" is waiting for you! (The article is about Molina taking notes on the last clasico and hoping to use some of the tactics that worked.)
And an appreciative article from our friends at spanishfootball.info. Let's hope we can indeed keep writing more chapters in the wonderful story:
Finally, it's been a while since we up dated everyone on the VILLARREAL USA FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE, so here goes with the top 6 at the halfway mark of the season:
Maniche Street Preachers 1487.5
Red Star Belgrade 1307.5
We all live...in Cadiz 1257
FC Solros 1143
YFF academy drop out 1132
Menlo FC 1129
All still to play for! Endavant Villarreal!