In a campaign otherwise off to a great start, Villarreal hit a bump in the road midweek, drawing away to Poli Eijdo in the Copa del Rey round of 32. With 7 regular starters not making that trip south, expect a hungry XI for today's match against Sporting de Gijón, a club more than a century old.
On that note, congratulations to Giuseppe Rossi on what is expected to be his 100th appearance in La Liga for El Submarino Amarillo. 38 goals in that span is a decent strike rate, but even when he fails to tally, there is no questioning his sacrifice for the team. May he play another century of matches in yellow.
Garrido's 19-man squad:
Keepers: Diego López & Juan Carlos.
Defenders: Musacchio, Joan Oriol, Capdevila, Marchena, Catalá, Gonzalo, Mario & Ángel.
Midfielders: Montero, Cani, Cazorla, Borja, Bruno & Matilla.
Strikers: Rossi, Nilmar & Altidore.
Senna and Ruben are injured, so the only change to the typical XI should be in midfield. Cani will start on the right wing, while Borja will slide into the doble pivote with Bruno.
Capdevila – Musacchio – Marchena – Ángel
Cazorla – Borja – Bruno – Cani
Rossi – Nilmar
In contrast with its away form (1 point in 4 matches), Sporting is a tough out at El Molinón (7 points). Add in attacking threats Sangoy, Barral, and de las Cuevas, along with our former hardman Eguren, and manager Preciado has a decent squad.
Prediction: El Molinón is an imposing venue, and Sporting no longer is inept up front. But we are riding a hot streak and getting some breaks, so I'll say 1-2 to Villarreal, with Santi marking the difference. Endavant Villarreal!