My other favorite team visits El Madrigal today. But this is no time for sentimental feelings. There's a match to be won and three points to be had.
This evening Espanyol faces a resurgent Villarreal under Miguel Ángel Lotina. Sure, it's only a draw against Real Madrid and a somewhat fortunate win over Rayo Vallecano, but we were six points clear of the drop zone to start the round (halved, thanks to suddenly high-flying Zaragoza). A big difference from the outlook after our last-minute defeat away to Levante.
Espanyol stars Inter Milan loanee Philippe Coutinho and Neuchatel Xamax cast-off Kalu Uche, the older brother of our erstwhile striker Ikechukwu (on loan at Granada). They held on to Joan Verdú over the summer, despite our advances, and present a solid back four with the return of Mexican international Héctor Moreno. All in all, a team capable of competing for Europe. Just like ours.
Villarreal (4-2-2-2): D. López; Oriol, Musacchio, Zapata, Mario; Bruno, Senna; Cani, Borja; Martinuccio, Ruben.
Espanyol (4-2-3-1): Casilla; Didac, Moreno, Rodríguez, Forlín; Romaric, Baena; Coutinho, Verdú, Weiss; S. García.
The match begins at 3:30 pm Eastern Time. And yes, the 'B' team will still be playing in Vigo. Expect streams. Endavant Villarreal!