Villarreal find themselves back on the road this weekend, a status that has been closely associated with their few troubles this term. Villarreal has dropped a total of 12 points so far this year, including two defeats and four draws. Of the matches where the squad dropped points, all but one of the draws was on the road. Villarreal will be hoping that the 0-3 victory over Zaragoza is a turning point for their road difficulties. Prior to that match two weeks ago, the club had strung together three poor road performances, including a 2-2 draw with Hercules, 1-1 with Sporting, and a 3-1 beating (I don't care what the rest of the media said - it wasn't close) at the hands of reigning champions Barcelona. These are facts that have to change if Villarreal wants to continue to be considered an elite team in La Liga, one worthy to be mentioned with Barcelona and Real Madrid rather than lumped together with the other seventeen teams in the league.
The trip to southern Madrid for a romp with Getafe has been up and down for Villarreal. Last year was simply embarrassing, with Villarreal going down 3-0 - the same scoreline from 2006-2007 at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. The thrashings are not necessarily the norm, however, as Villarreal snuck in and stole three points during the two years in between, 1-3 and 1-2.
Getafe have been respectable this year, and find themselves 9th in the table well away from the relegation battle. They have ripped through the last couple weeks of La Liga action, scoring three goals twice in two victories.
Villarreal's squad for the match:
Keepers: Diego López and Juan Carlos.
Defenders: Musacchio, Ángel, Gonzalo, Catalá, Marchena and Capdevila.
Midfielders: Senna, Bruno, Cazorla, Cani, Borja Valero, Cristóbal and Jefferson Montero.
Forwards: Nilmar, Altidore and Marco Ruben.
I know there is a lot of debate as to whether Villarreal will come out in an attacking formation or a more defensive one, but I think it will be the latter. The loss of Rossi to a suspension is huge, and I simply do not see Garrido having the trust in Ruben, Altidore, or Montero to start any of them up top alongside Nilmar.
I think instead that Garrido will go with five midfielders to control possession, with two defensive mids pulled back and three more attack-minded midfielders behind Nilmar.
My projected lineup:
Ángel - Gonzalo - Marchena - Capdevila
Senna - Bruno
Cazorla - Cani - Borja
Cani has been a little inconsistent for sure, and though I think he will get the start, he will be the first to be pulled if things are not comfortable around minute 65. At that point, Garrido puts in either Montero or Ruben and shifts to a 4-4-2 to press the game a bit and pull out the three points that we absolutely have to have.
This is exactly the type of match that we struggle most in. One that we should win, but one that everyone knows we are just as likely to lose.