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GameThread: Villarreal vs. Atlético Madrid #VILATM

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No Cani for this guy. Stay on the pitch, Carlos.
No Cani for this guy. Stay on the pitch, Carlos.

Three matches of importance (in Vila-real, Vallecas, and Getafe). Two goals from danger (by Rayo and Atlético). One point required (at El Madrigal).

Villarreal hosts Atlético Madrid this evening in a (mostly) unified time slot to cap off the 2011-12 La Liga campaign. The Yellow Submarine started the year in the UEFA Champions League, a far cry from our current pitched relegation battle. Juan Carlos Garrido and José Francisco Molina have been the coaching casualties, while star striker Giuseppe Rossi has not played since October 26 (but will be in attendance). More on all of this in the coming weeks and months.

Today's task: obtain a result at home, where Villarreal has lost only twice all season in La Liga (Levante, Getafe). And not under Miguel Ángel Lotina. Atlético's away record does not inspire fear: only three victories (Real Sociedad, Osasuna, Rayo Vallecano). And we're not in Madrid or País Vasco.

On the flip side, Villarreal has given away countless points in the final minutes under Lotina. And the colchoneros still have an outside shot at a Champions League spot (with a win and Sporting result in Málaga). Hope you're still hung over from the midweek Europa League title, Radamel Falcao García Zárate.

Lineups (confirmed):

Villarreal (4-3-2-1): D. López; Mario, Zapata, Musacchio, J. Costa; Senna, Marchena, Bruno; Borja, H. Pérez; Ruben.

Atlético (4-2-2-2): Courtois; Juanfran, Godín, Miranda, Filipe Luís; Mario, Gabi; Diego, Adrián; Salvio, Falcao.

The match begins at 2 pm Eastern Time and airs on GolTV (US) in a simulcast. A re-air (exclusive) will run at 8 pm Eastern Time. Follow the round's other matches here. Endavant Villarreal! #VILATM #yocreo