TIAAlsAInCD Lugo are hardly a famous club in Spanish football. Founded in 1953, they have been a Segunda B or Tercera club, with their only prior appearance in the second tier, 1992-93, resulting in an immediate relegation. So when they won promotion to the Segunda this time round, they were obvious candidates to go straight down. But, in fact, the albivermellos have given a good account of themselves. They're currently 12th on 47 points, right in the middle of the table, and so the Galicians and their compact Anxo Carro ground should grace the Segunda next season.
The difference between Lugo and the clubs below them has been defense. Lugo have scored only eight goals away form home, but nonetheless have four away wins, while at home they've scored 27 goals and given up 18, and have 30 points from their 17 home matches. Nothing spectacular; they haven't been in the top six all season, nor the bottom six either. Comfortably in the middle of the pack, for a team making their first appearance in the Segunda in 20 years, is just fine.
Oscar Diaz is their leading goalscorer; the midfielder has 13, quite a haul considering his previous high in a season was 6. And there is a Villarreal connection: Airam Cabrera is playing for Lugo now, has three goals in 13 appearances, and Hector Font is still on their roster, though he hasn't played since February.
Villarreal: As Robin noted when he saw practice earlier this week, Javier Aquiño's ankle was still bothering him, and evidently the magic spray didn't do enough magic, because he is not in the squad. Jony and Mellberg return, though. The complete squad (notice Mariño has returned as second keeper, and Jaume Costa is not included even though his suspension is over):
Keepers: Juan Carlos, Mariño
Defenders: Mario, Joan Oriol, Mellberg, Musacchio, Íñiguez.
Midfielders: Marcos Senna, Bruno, Tito Canteros, Trigueros, Juanma, Moi Gómez, Cani.
Since this preview is so late I can tell you twitter has some nice photos of what looks to be a gray Galician day, and there are a number of Villarreal supporters in rain hats, slickers and scarves (Galicia is like Scotland, I understand: it either is raining or soon will be). It's already hailed a bit, rained a bit, and it's not terribly warm. Looks like a high of 10 degrees C and some wind, though probably not as much as we saw in Vila-real last week.
Starting XI is a bit of a surprise, since the misfiring Uche starts ahead of Gerard. Also interesting that Senna and Bruno are starting together for the first time in a good while.
Juan Carlos, Mario, Mellberg, Musacchio, Oriol, Bruno, Marcos Senna, Cani, Moi Gomez, Uche y Perbet
TORNAREM! SEMPRE ENDAVANT!