Time to end some streaks. Villarreal has won 1 match in La Liga away from El Madrigal. Villarreal never has scored a goal, let alone won a match, at the Estadio Nuevo Jose Zorrilla. Juan Carlos Garrido has not won consecutive matches in his short reign as manager. All of these mala rachas can be ended tomorrow in Valladolid.
La Pucela, as Valladolid are known due to their purple kits, sit in 19th place in La Liga, only ahead of colista Xerez. And Xerez comprehensively beat them 3-0 last week. Ouch. 7 points from safety, expect an all-or-nothing approach led by Brazilian striker Diego Costa and Bosnian midfielder Haris Medunjanin. For a laugh, check out Medunjanin's pub league goalkeeping on YouTube on Xerez's 3-0 penalty goal.
The 18-man squad for tomorrow's match:
GKs: Diego López and Oliva.
Ds: Ángel, Marcano, Godin, Capdevila, Gonzalo, and Musacchio.
MFs: Senna, Pires, Bruno, Cani, Ibagaza, Fuster, and Cazorla.
Fs: Rossi, Nilmar, and Llorente.
Senna and Godin return from suspension, while Escudero (in the doghouse) and Javi Venta (end of the road?) are omitted. A number of B teamers trained with Garrido this week, so it's a slight surprise that only Musacchio was called up. But keep in mind that the B team plays Jony Pereira and Real Betis on Monday night in the Segunda match of the week, so the likes of Matilla and Marcos Gullon may have been withheld.
This week's refrain: we can win away from home. Let's play the same way on the road. Now it's time to back up the rhetoric. Expect a reprise of the 4-3-3 formation: Diego Lopez; Capdevila, Godin, Gonzalo, Angel; Bruno, Senna, Cani; Nilmar, Rossi, Llorente. I predict a 1-2 scoreline, with goals by Nilmar and Rossi. Endavant Villarreal!
Update from maddi: A great win for the club, the second all season on the road, with the unlikely and stellar goal from Angel, and a second from Nilmar to put the match away. Highlights forthcoming....