A slight respite. Zaragoza lost on Saturday afternoon, so Villarreal will be at least five points above the drop zone after jornada 35 in La Liga. Even if the Yellow Submarine falls in its visit to Anoeta, the home of Real Sociedad.
The txuri-urdin are only three points ahead of Villarreal, so a home defeat would flip the teams in the standings (Villarreal would own the head-to-head tiebreak). And La Real's manager Philippe Montanier is under heavy scrutiny, so he cannot afford a poor result. Luckily he can call on explosive wingers Carlos Vela (ten goals, seven assists) and Antoine Griezmann (four goals, three assists) to spark a sluggish side, which has won only once in seven matches.
Villarreal (4-2-3-1): D. López; Mario, Zapata, Musacchio, Catalá; Senna, Bruno; de Guzmán, Borja, H. Pérez; Ruben.
Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Bravo; Estrada, Ansotegui, Demidov, de la Bella; Elustondo, Aranburu; Vela, Zurutuza, Prieto; Agirretxe.
The match begins at 6 am Eastern Time, sharing the Asian slot with Granada vs. Getafe. If you're awake, more power to you. I may not be, so consider it an open thread. Chime in on Twitter: #RSOVIL. Endavant Villarreal!