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Copa del Rey Preview: Villarreal-Celta

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I thought we were beyond that sort of performance...hopefully the early season syndrome does not return. Our form in La Liga has been very mixed, but the 2009-10 Copa del Rey is the club's best hope for a major title in its history. A 1-1 away draw in the first leg against Celta was just, as it could have been 0-2 early, but for some questionable officiating, and then could have been 3-1 to Celta based on our second-half performance. The away goal gives us a slim edge, as 0-0 at El Madrigal would be enough to go through. However, it would be nice to outdo the B team, who defeated Celta 0-2 away.

Some injury worries: Gonzalo is definitely out (maybe a boon to us?), while Angel, Cani, and Cazorla are doubts. We need to focus on this match, but the players may be distracted by the Valencia derby on Sunday and Atletico's 3-0 defeat at Recreativo Huelva. The winner of that tie would be our quarterfinal opponent (in a week's time) in the Copa. I hope we can stay focused for 90 minutes, keep a clean sheet, nick a goal or two, and move on.

The squad will be announced after this morning's practice session. The game will air on tape delay on GolTV at 5 pm Eastern time tomorrow, so I will watch after I return from work and class. Endavant!