La Liga returns after a two-week hiatus; welcome back to regular posting. Today's opponent is RCD Espanyol, the other club from Barcelona. That would also be the club that did not lose 0-2 to promoted Hercules.
We have a nagging tendency to draw with Espanyol, including a pair of drab 0-0 affairs last season, one with a man up for most of the match. Let's hope for a better result today.
The 18-man squad for today's match:
GKs: Diego López and Juan Carlos.
Ds: Capdevila, Gonzalo, Musacchio, Marchena, Mario and Ángel.
MFs: Jefferson Montero, Santi Cazorla, Cani, Borja Valero, Bruno and Marcos Senna.
Fs: Rossi, Nilmar, Marco Ruben and Altidore.
With arguably 5 forwards (including Montero), this is a very offensive group. The notable omissions are Xavi Oliva, who appears to have lost the battle for backup goalkeeper, and Javi Matilla, caught in a central midfield numbers crunch.
My expected starting XI:
Capdevila – Musacchio – Marchena – Ángel López
Cazorla – Senna – Bruno – Cani
Rossi – Nilmar
Prediction: Bring on the goals, unlike what others think. 3-1 to Villarreal, with tallies by Nilmar (2), Senna, and the dangerous Osvaldo. Endavant!