Villarreal hosts Hércules in an important mini-derby this evening at El Madrigal. The visitors need to escape the relegation zone and save their embattled manager (if they still like him), while the Submarino Amarillo needs to regain second place in the table. Prime rivals Elche (still perfect!) and Almería won on Saturday, so we cannot afford to drop points at home.
No extra motivation required for this one. A derbi, in a prime TV slot (we can outdraw Real Sociedad vs. Zaragoza), for second place in the hearts of the Comunitat Valenciana. Hércules has weapons up front and a solid defensive unit -- including former 'B' teamer Pere Martínez -- so we cannot afford a typical lethargic start. An early goal would be manna from heaven for either underachieving side.
My expected XI (4-4-2): J. Carlos; Mario, Musacchio, Mellberg, Oriol; Senna, Bruno; Manu, Cani; Uche, Cavenaghi.
The match begins at 2:30 pm Eastern Time and airs on Canal +. Expect streams. Endavant Villarreal!