The appetizer before the entree, as it were. The Segunda's only two filiales meet at the Ciudad Deportiva mere hours ahead of the A teams' clash under the lights at El Madrigal on free(!) national TV.
Manager Javi Gracia knows the match will be a challenge, as the baby blaugranas have picked up 16 points in their last 6 matches. Impressive form. Our star player (and La Masia product) Iago Falqué vows this time will be different, referring to the 4-1 thrashing in the sides' first meeting in Barcelona (Falqué had the lone minisubmarino tally).
A different-looking 18-man squad for the match:
Keepers: Mariño & Vicente Flor.
Defenders: Mano, Héctor, Carlos Tomás, Dorian Dervite, Pere & Diego Jiménez.
Midfielders: Dutra, Nico, Natxo Insa, Marcos Gullón, Castellani, Marquitos, Iago Falqué & Hernán Pérez.
Strikers: Gerard & Nicki Bille.
Wakaso and Kiko are with the A team, Truyols and Airam are injured, and Costa is suspended. Yikes.
As with the A team, an early goal would do wonders for our confidence. I think a B team win would bode well for the second half of the doubleheader, but it will not be easy. Endavant Villarreal!