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Villarreal chooses its squad to face Mirandés in the Copa tomorrow

We've never come close to winning this thing, so we might as well start now!!
We've never come close to winning this thing, so we might as well start now!!

Here is the selection to play Mirandés tomorrow, 3PM EST (9PM Spanish time) in the Copa del Rey:

Keepers: César y Diego López.
Defenders: Mario, Kiko, Zapata, Musacchio, Jaume Costa y Marchena.
Midfielders: Bruno, Marcos Gullón, Borja Valero, Hernán Pérez, Castellani y Camuñas.
Forwards: Joselu y Nilmar.

There are only 16 players, and not surprisingly players such as Gonzalo, Marcos Senna, and Marco Ruben are given a rest. But why no Wakaso Mubarak? Has Garrido not forgiven him for that ill-timed slide tackle in Manchester that led to City's winning goal? It sure seems so.

Ángel is left out because of a thigh muscle strain (it's hoped he'll be available for the Osasuna match) and of course Catalá and Rossi are long-term injury losses. I'm a little surprised we're only going with two forwards, and I am going to scream, and not for joy, if Garrido opts for a 4-2-3-1 against a team from the Segunda B. Grrrrr.

Gullón deserves a look in the doble pivote, and I expect César to be our Copa keeper; beyond that, we'll just have to see what our coach decides to do. Nilmar needs minutes, so I expect he might figure ahead of Joselu if only one of them starts, and Camuñas is just returning from a layoff as well, so some playing time here would be appropriate. Of course, our next game is at his former team, who are doing very well so far, and I know he would like to play there.

CD Mirandés had its best-ever season last year, finishing second in their Segunda B group, but didn't make it through the promotion playoffs. This year, they've started off even better--they're leading their group by six points, ahead of newly-relegated Ponferradina. With 25 goals scored and only 6 allowed, and undefeated in 17 Segunda B matches so far this year, they won't be a pushover by any means. Last year, you'll recall, we scraped a score draw with Poli Ejido at this point of the cup, before winning the home leg; on paper Mirandés looks a tougher opponent.

As far as we can tell, there's not going to be much in the way of live coverage for this game (which shows you how little the Copa del Rey figures in the Spanish football scene at present). If we find a radio or (miracle of miracles) TV stream of the game from the tidy little Anduva ground, we'll let you know.