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Match Preview: Villarreal - Mallorca

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Villarreal come off the international break for the first home match of the La Liga season at 11am eastern. Villarreal are hoping to continue in the footsteps of Villarreal B who Saturday knocked off Hercules, and win their 100th La Liga home match. To do so, they welcome an always tricky Mallorca side into El Madrigal.

Mallorca let Xerez think they might have a chance to win their first-ever Primera match, leaving the score level through the first half, but scored two by way of Aritz Aduriz and Tuni in the second half to secure the victory. The islanders were helped to the three points, though, as Xerez saw two men sent off for their collections of yellow cards. Regardless of how they got there, Mallorca must be feeling a sense of possibility, having spent the last two weeks equal on points with the leaders of the league.

Villarreal's match against Osasuna saw a drop in goals, but the international players did their best to reignite the scoring fuse over the last week. Cazorla continued his furious scoring streak on Wednesday, and was joined on the books by Nilmar's three, and Eguren's icing on Uruguay's cake.

Villarreal are adjusting their squad for the match, having seen Marcos Senna strain his previously-injured hamstring helping Spain to their Wednesday victory. Ibagaza, who likely would have started alongside Senna, will probably partner with Eguren who will attempt to make up for the control Senna usually provides.

The Fifa virus was more widespread than just Senna, though. Nilmar is not out of the squad just because of jet lag. As it turns out, his hat-trick was costly - he took a knock to the ankle, which is contributing to his absence from the lineup.

The news is not all bad, though, as Gonzalo and Marcano both return to form, and could each see time tomorrow. Here is the full squad:

Keepers: Diego López and Xavi Oliva.
Defenders: Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Godin, Marcano, Ángel and Capdevila.
Midfielders: Eguren, Ibagaza, Cani, Cazorla, Pires, Bruno and Fuster.
Forwards: Rossi, Llorente and J. Pereira.

I am guessing the starting eleven will be

Diego López

Javi Venta - Gonzalo - Godin - Capdevila

Cazorla - Eguren - Ibagaza - Cani

Rossi - Llorente

I could see Marcano getting in to replace Capdevila in the starting lineup if Fuentes was in the squad, to give Capdevila a rest, but it won't happen without another central defender available.

The match is not on GolTV or ESPN360, so check rojadirecta.com for streams at 11am eastern.