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Players Coming, Players Going

Villarreal will breathe a bit of a sigh of relief this week, as Javi Venta has had a couple of pain-free days, and looks to be fit for Sunday's matchup against Atletico. Despite their embarrassment today, Atletico Madrid generally have no problem scoring goals, so having a first-team defense - including Javi Venta - is very important.

Villarreal also expect to have Gonzalo and Fuster available on Sunday. Neither one is quite 100 percent, but with another four days to go, they are expected to be in full health for the trip. Gonzalo currently has a strained soleus, which is a muscle in the calf just beneath the primary calf muscle. Fuster is still recovering from the strained hamstring he picked up against Levski Sofia last week.

Unfortunately, Ibagaza looks to be out another week. The spark he provided will have to be found somewhere else, because his bruised right thigh does not look to be ready for Sunday.

Also, of course, Villarreal are dealing with the suspended players, Angel and Cani. Villarreal are hoping to be successful with an appeal of Cani's straight red, as replays show pretty clearly that he was merely a passive bystander on the "foul" he committed in the box - he was shoved by Javier Casquero, and then bounced off of Angel onto Casquero's legs.

Another worthwhile note: Nilmar's goal against Corinthians (while he was still with Internacional) is one of ten goals nominated by FIFA for the new Premio Puskus, an award for goal of the year. For those who don't remember:

I haven't yet been able to post pictures and video from my trip to Vila-real, but it will all be coming shortly. Sorry for the delay!