It's been awhile since we've seen these two on the pitch together. The Bambino is going to return soon, though! Let's hope he can provide the spark we need. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Let's start with the good news. Giuseppe Rossi is tentatively scheduled to return to action April 22 (away to Real Sociedad)--he is not likely to start, but should get some minutes. At least, that's the plan:
Meanwhile the Italian press continues to accept any utterance by Rossi as a sign he's leaving Villarreal. The latest headline (goal.com, Football Italia, etc.) "Rossi hints at summer exit". What did he actually say? "You never know what's going to happen in your career. One day you're here, one day you're somewhere else.... I think many players would like to play in the best leagues in the world. That's La Liga, that's the Premier League, and that's Serie A".
Major problems at the back for Villarreal in the short-term, though. Joan Oriol is suspended (fifth yellow card of the season, and a stupid one at that); Mario Gaspar is injured and is almost certain to miss the Malaga match:
As for Ángel, the club is appealing his second yellow on Sunday, for a handball he never committed. If he wins the appeal, then he is likely to play on the right with Zapata and Musacchio in the middle (and I assume Catalá on the left), but if not, Gonzalo could come in to the center of defense again. Please, no!!!
Meanwhile, Santi Cazorla (who had a penalty saved yesterday, but later scored in Malaga's 3-0 win over Racing) says he won't be celebrating if he scores against us on Thursday. But with he and Isco both in good form, and with our back line unsettled, this is going to be a tougher game than it looked a couple of weeks ago--and it didn't look too easy then.
At least we have a picture of Srs. Roig and Llaneza smiling at practice with Lotina....