No full-fledged match preview here, as the Copa has become as much an afterthought as anything. After being destroyed 0-5 two weeks ago, Villarreal have little chance of advancing. Making the next round would require a comprehensive dominance that Pellegrini's squad looks completely unready to provide. He has called up only sixteen players:
Keepers: Diego López and Viera.
Defenders: Cygan, Fuentes, Gonzalo and Javi Venta.
Midfielders: Cani, Eguren, Bruno, Edmilson, Pirés, Ibagaza and Mati Fernández.
Forwards: Altidore, Guille Franco and Llorente.
It looks pretty clear that Pellegrini has pretty much written this third competition off. Although on the surface it seems disappointing, it may be the best possible move he could make. Villarreal's apparent depth has been thoroughly demystified, in particular during the last match against Poli Ejido. The simple fact is that our bench is capable of holding on to a match after a lead is built (well, sometimes, at least - Atletico?), but they are not capable of putting forth a Liga-level performance.
This should be a very interesting lineup for tomorrow's match. I would like to see something along the lines of this:
Javi Venta - Cygan - Fuentes - Bruno
Cani - Eguren - Edmilson - Mati
I think it is more likely that Franco and Altidore will start together, and Ibagaza might be in place of Mati. Leaving Senna, Rossi, and Godin out for rest is a very good move. I really hope we can also get by without putting Gonzalo or Pires in the match, but there are so few subs available, it is unlikely.
Prediction: 4-2, Villarreal bows out of the Copa somewhat gracefully, somewhat in infamy.