UPDATE- Video of the goals:
Villarreal have headed off to Croatia for the first match in their group stage in this season's Europa League. The club is coming off the up-and-down 4-0 victory over a sorry Espanyol side on Sunday, which, of course, followed a sad 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad. In other words, we really do not know what to expect against a quality side when we have traveled this far. One way or another, it won't be easy.
Dinamo Zagreb joins Villarreal in Group D after stumbling out of the Champions League with a loss to FC Sheriff on penalties, after a couple of 1-1 draws. The club is not doing poorly in Croatia, however, and is currently the reigning champion of their league. This season, they find themselves in third place through seven matches, having won 4, drawn 2, and lost only 1.
This will not be an easy match for Villarreal. Traveling to Croatia is not an easy task, especially having just come off a Sunday evening match. The weather will be wet, with a 50 percent chance of rain showers, but the temperature will be comfortable, with a high of 71 tomorrow.
The squad at Garrido's disposal:
Keepers: Diego López, Juan Carlos and Oliva.
Defenders: Gonzalo, Musacchio, Catalá, Capdevila, Marchena, Joan Oriol and Mario.
Midfielders: Senna, Bruno, Cani, Borja Valero, Santi Cazorla and Jefferson Montero.
Forwards: Rossi, Marco Ruben and Jozy Altidore.
I would predict a 4-2-3-1, despite that recently blowing up in Garrido's face. I expect there to be a couple of changes this time around. This is the perfect opportunity for Gonzalo to get the start, so I expect him to be paired up with Marchena. Also, while I do not think he will be in the starting lineup, expect to see Jozy come in between minutes 65 and 70 - Garrido will want to give Rossi a break. Getting him in could take some maneuvering if Villarreal is, against my expectations, set in a 4-4-2, because a Ruben/Altidore pairing would not play to Villarreal's style at all.
On defense, I think it will be Gonzalo and Marchena in central defense, with Angel and Capdevila on either side. Expect Joan Oriol and Mario to get starting time when the Copa rolls around. In the midfield, I want it to be Borja Valero and Bruno, but I think it will be Senna paired with the boy from Artana. Cani, Valero, and Cazorla as the attacking midfielders, with Rossi up front.
I won't predict the match, because that usually foretells bad news for the Yellow Submarine, but what is the general consensus? Do we start with three points in Croatia? Or are we going to fly home with our tails between our legs?