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Pre-Match News Roundup

Villarreal are fighting off vertigo, looking down from the top of La Liga and their Champions League group. Perhaps never has a club started so well in both the top European competition and one of the top leagues in the world, with so little noise made. Villarreal have been steady, workmanlike, and powerful in their matches, steadily adding the points and moving up.

But today they come up against a dangerous opponent - the last team to beat Villarreal at home in any competition. Remember that? Second week of December 2007??? It has been thirteen matches since Villarreal last fell 0-1 to Betis. But Betis will have a difficult time repeating the feat, considering Diego Lopez has been virtually impenetrable this season (two goals, seven matches - one of those two goals being a penalty).

Here is my expectation of the starting lineup (much of it courtesy Kqql):

Venta - Gonzalo - Godin - Bruno
Cazorla - Senna - Eguren - Ibagaza
Llorente - Rossi

Pellegrini has decided to give Capdevila a rest, alongside Edmilson, and Fuentes has not been called up. It is reassuring to see ironman Capdevila getting a break, especially considering that he will no doubt be called on when Spain's international matches get underway.

In addition to Capdevila, eight other yellows are called up to their international squads: Altidore (US - I plan on being there at RFK next week to catch my first national team match, and first opportunity to watch a Villarreal player perform in person - I can't wait); Rossi (Italy U-21); Cazorla, Senna (Spain); Matias Fernandez (Chile); Godín, Eguren (Uruguay); Guille Franco (Mexico).

I will have a live blog going here once the match gets going.