Do or die time in the Europa competition, as Villarreal are out with a loss tomorrow against Lazio, and all but out with a draw. Tomorrow Villarreal will be looking to draw on the little bit of momentum they have picked up since that last minute stab from Tommaso Rocchi sent them to an embarrassing draw in Rome in order to save their Europa campaign, and perhaps save their season.
Currently Villarreal sit on 3 points in Group G, which is six off group leaders Red Bull Salzburg, and three behind Lazio. A win by Lazio puts Villarreal six off the pace for getting to the knockout stages and would require a complete self-destruction for Salzburg for Villarreal to even dream about having a chance for advancement.
Fortunately for Villarreal, Lazio are struggling. They are in 15th in Serie A with 11 points from 11 matches, and have only pulled three points from their last five Italian matches. The Italians are missing the still dangerous Julio Cruz through injury, as well as defender Gugliemo Stendardo, who got hurt in their 1-1 draw against Siena, Ousmane Dabo, and Mourad Meghni. Francelino Matuzalem is suspended due to the somewhat dubious red he received against Villarreal two weeks ago.
Their squad for the match: Bizzarri, Muslera, Lichtsteiner, Siviglia, Radu, Diakitè, Cribari, Eliseu, Kolarov, Brocchi, Baronio, Mauri, Foggia, Zarate, Rocchi, Perpetuini, Makinwa, Sevieri, Luciani, Scaloni.
Villarreal are without injured Marcos Senna and Santi Cazorla, as well as long-recovering Ariel Ibagaza. The squad:
Keepers: Diego López and Xavi Oliva.
Defenders: Ángel, Marcano, Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Capdevila and Godín.
Midfielders: Eguren, Bruno, Pires, Cani, Fuster and Escudero.
Forwards: Rossi, Llorente, Nilmar and Jonathan Pereira.
This is a match we have to win. No other options, or we may as well play our Segunda team in the last two matches. I expect Valverde to go with what has been working as of late, giving Rossi and Llorente the start up front.
Javi Venta - Godín - Marcano - Capdevila
Pires - Eguren - Bruno - Cani
Rossi - Llorente
Prediction: Villarreal 3-1 Lazio. ENDAVANT VILLARREAL!