New division, new look, same opponent. Both Villarreal and Almería will feel at home with its rival to begin the 38-game La Liga season. 3 points at stake today in the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos.
For Almería, no more Charles to bang in the goals (he left for a piddling €1MM to Celta Vigo), but Óscar Díaz has arrived from mid-table Segunda side Lugo. Aleix Vidal and Soriano continue to man the midfield, while highly-rated Liverpool teen Suso will provide a creative spark. Expect more pressing up the park than from last year's rojiblancos, but that could easily play into Marcelino García Toral's hands.
Keepers: Juan Carlos, Asenjo.
Defenders: Mario, Pantic, J. Costa, Musacchio, Íñiguez, Dorado.
Midfielders: Bruno, Pina, Manu, Hernán, Aquino, Cani.
Strikers: Giovani, Uche, Jony, Perbet.
Here's my expected XI (as compared to who started on June 8):
Asenjo (Juan Carlos); Mario, Íñiguez (Mellberg), Musacchio, J. Costa; Bruno, Pina (Canteros); Hernán (Juanma), Cani; Gio (Jony), Perbet.
Arguably upgrades everywhere...not bad in a few short months. The match begins at 4 pm Eastern Time and will air in the US on beIN Sport en Español. Plenty of streams to be expected, thankfully. Endavant Villarreal!