We get to welcome the Basques back into La Liga in the first match of the new season. Heading into San Sebastian is not easy, but it isn't quite as bad as heading to San Mames in Bilbao, so hopefully we can come out with three points to start off the season properly. If you remember, Villarreal waited until their eighth match of the season last year to record three points, and by that point, had effectively missed out on qualifying for European competition based on points.
This will be the first match in a stretch of winnable, must-win matches. The first ten matches of the season are more than manageable, and even just a decent run of form should put the club around 22 or 24 points. All of the first ten are winnable. The problem is that the harder matches all come bundled in the last eight matches of each of the season's two halves. We can't bundle our way through any of the first few matches and expect to make up points on the back end, because it simply won't happen.
Real Sociedad is making its return after a heartbreaking relegation following the 2006-2007 year. Real Sociedad is one of those teams that needs to be in the top flight, and it is good that they are back. They could be dangerous up front, having picked up our own Joseba Llorente, along with long-time Parakeet Raul Tamudo. They also have Chile's reliable Claudio Bravo in at keeper (reliable, that is, if you ignore their match against Spain at the World Cup when you could find him at the touchline teeing the ball up for David Villa...).
For the match, Garrido has called up the following:
Keepers: Diego López and Juan Carlos.
Defenders: Capdevila, Gonzalo, Musacchio, Marchena, Mario and Ángel.
Midfielders: Cani, Santi Cazorla, Borja Valero, Matilla, Bruno and Marcos Senna.
Forwards: Rossi, Nilmar, Jefferson Montero and Marco Ruben.
Angel - Musacchio - Marchena - Capdevila
Senna - Bruno
Cazorla - Valero - Cani
Prediction: This is the perfect opportunity to make a statement away from home. Rossi and Nilmar have both been playing well in the preseason, and I expect both of them to get off the mark tomorrow. A 0-2 win should be a great way to start the season.
Sorry to keep this short, but it is late, and I have to be up early tomorrow. ENDAVANT VILLARREAL!