Now the meat of the season begins. Four consecutive matches against the top four teams in La Liga. It will not be easy, but Villarreal have to assert themselves and take points if they want to be playing in the Champions League - or even in the Europa - next year.
Sevilla stumble into El Madrigal, losers of four straight, including an embarrassment against Barcelona and giving away the match last weekend against Madrid. They have lost a 9-point lead over 4th position, and are now suddenly in danger of falling out of the Champions League positions.
Villarreal, though, have managed to pull seven points out of a seemingly empty hat (I know, I know, it has been against Valladolid, Recre, and Getafe - not the most impressive crew), and have a little momentum for the first time, it seems, since early October.
Villarreal are still without Marcos Senna, Guille Franco, and of course Santi, and are likely without Javi Venta. They are happy to see Capdevila return to full strength, and will have Angel in the squad thanks to Villarreal getting a yellow card from the match against Getafe overturned. I am actually going to be away leading up to the match, so what I have below is just a guess - although it shouldn't be too hard to get right. If someone would like to put Pellegrini's 18-man squad up in the comments, that would be great.
Keepers: Diego López and Viera.
Defenders: Gonzalo, Fuentes, Cygan, Godin, Capdevila and Ángel.
Midfielders: Eguren, Mati Fernández, Pires, Ibagaza, Cani, Bruno and Jordi Pablo.
Delanteros: Nihat, Rossi and Llorente.
I expect the lineup to look fairly traditional, despite the mid-week lineup theatrics.
Ángel - Gonzalo - Godin - Capdevila
Cani - Eguren - Bruno - Pires
Rossi - Llorente
No predictions, but you have to feel that Villarreal are a lot more confident going into this match than they have been for the last couple of months. It has not been the most dominating seven points we have ever picked up, but two wins in a row feels good. ENDAVANT!