UPDATE: Highlights from our 6th consecutive victory:
3 matches, 2 leagues, 1 week. All leading up to...2 weeks off. With 5 wins on the trot in all competitions, Villarreal is by no means anxious for the international break. Well, at least aside from the injured Cani and the club's 7 full internationals: Capdevila, Cazorla, Marchena, Montero, Nilmar, Pérez, and Rossi.
In both victories this week, Villarreal has struggled against 10 men. But don't expect a three-peat, as a talent-barren, Portugal-managed Racing side should keep its discipline.
Racing de Santander always has struck me as a likable team. Based in a hub of world finance, the club has served as a feeder of promising talent in recent years. 3 of its best-known products: Real Madrid youngsters Ezequiel Garay and Sergio Canales and our very own Iván Marcano (hope you're enjoying Madrid). This year's squad is older and more no-frills, however, primarily hoping to stay up.
Garrido's 18-man squad has only one change from Thursday: Marcos Senna replaces the injured Cani. After all, if it ain't broke, why fix it? And it's great to have Gonzalo back.
My expected starting XI:
Capdevila – Musacchio – Marchena – Ángel López
Cazorla – Senna – Bruno – Borja
Rossi – Nilmar
Prediction: All signs point to an easy home win, save for overconfidence. We have too much talent for this Santander side, however. I expect 3-0 to Villarreal, with international break parting gifts for Cazorla, Nilmar, and Rossi. Endavant Villarreal!