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Preview: Villarreal - Valladolid 4.20.08

Villarreal seek to finally lock up a Champions League spot as they host Valladolid after two away losses. Villarreal are desperate to turn around their brief losing streak, and want to secure second spot in the league. "Our goal is to go directly to the Champions League without playing in the preliminary rounds, so we're going to fight right 'til the end for second place," said Godín. Pelligrini is confident the team can lock up a CL spot, preferably second place. But first, the squad has to quit losing matches and dropping points.

Villarreal's quest for Champions League became much easier with the results that came up today. Barca were held at zero by the out-of-form Espanyol today in the Barcelona derby. Also, Atletico were smoked 1-3 at home, and Sevilla fell gasping at the feet of Almeria, 1-4 at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

Valladolid come in sporting quality form, having won two of their last three (over Zaragoza and Levante), and drawn the third (Atletico). Led by the striking power of Joseba Llorente (apparently high on Villarreal's transfer list for the summer), Valladolid look to stave off possible relegation, which, from what I have read, could become more precarious if Levante strike and face immediate relegation. (anyone have any more insight on the effect of a Levante strike?)

Villarreal continue to face injury woes in the strikeforce. Tomasson is still out, and Guille will not make the call, either. They are also without Fuentes, and Diego Lopez to the red card. Capdevila and Godín do come back from suspension, though. Available players for Villarreal: Sebastian Viera, Juan Carlos (Villarreal B), Javi Venta, Josemi, Angel, Cygan, Godín, Gonzalo, Capdevila, Josico, Senna, Eguren, Bruno, Cani, Mati Fernandez, Pirés, Cazorla, Nihat and Rossi. (I would not be surprised to see Nihat up front with a supporting Pirés behind him.)

Not that I am an expert on the subject, but I offer my prediction for tomorrow: It would be great to be able to put a couple of goals in, and I think Villarreal can, but I expect it to be a very close match. 2-1, with a late Villarreal goal. --By the way, comments are open again, so please let me know what you think, including a prediction for the match!

Other previews:, Soccernet, El Periodico Mediterraneo.