2 comebacks. 6 points. Villarreal now travel to Pamplona to keep the winning streak going. Considering that the next game is vs. Real Madrid at home after the FIFA break, getting points in El Sadar is important. Villarreal's record in Pamplona is a poor 2W 3D 7L in 12 trips according to @FutVillarreal.
Despite our poor record in El Sadar, Osasuna hasnt looked very good so far.They have struggled to score all preseason 6 goals in 8 games and their scoring woes continue in the Primera. They sold forward Kike Sola to Athletic and havent really replaced him with an similar or higher quality player.If they dont bring in more strikers, their scoring struggles are likely to continue through the season.
Offensive threats : Miguel De Las Cuevas, Francisco Puñal (set-pieces), Oriol Riera, Sisi and our old friend Joan Oriol.
Defensively they are not too bad but when a team is not scoring enough goals, even the best of the defences arent sufficient to get points. Osasuna also featured in the favorites for relegation this year, although a lot could happen between now and May 2014.
This is a big game for Osasuna. They will be anxious and desperate to get some points on the board. They will mark us tight, play a physical game and beat us on set-pieces and counters.
This is a winnable game for the submarine. They will face a battling team in front of a vociferous and partisan crowd. They need to control the midfield. Bruno Soriano and Tomas Pina should start in the central midfield. We might have to resort to some long balls and quick counterattacks to get out of pressure that Osasuna will try to apply. This means center-forward like Jeremy Perbet or Uche who can get win the aerial tackles and knockdown the ball to the likes of Cani, Javier Aquino and Perbet.
As they did in the first 2 games, Villarreal should use the depth of talent on the bench to their advantage in the 2nd half. If this game is tied after 60 minutes, I wont be surprised if Villarreal nick a winning goal in the last 30 minutes of the game.
Injuries and absentees:
- Fullback Marc Bertrán is out for Osasuna. Damia might start in his place.
- Giovani Dos Santos is fit and is a part of the 18
- Farinos and Jokic injured.
- Moi Gomez and Gabriel Paulista werent selected for the trip.
Juan Carlos,Asenjo, Mario, Pantic, Jaume Costa, Musacchio, Pablo Íñiguez, Chechu Dorado, Bruno, Pina, Trigueros, Hernán Pérez, Aquino, Cani, Giovani dos Santos, Uche, Jonathan Pereira, Perbet.
Asier Riesgo, Andrés Fernández, Joan Oriol, Echaide, Arribas, Oier, Loties, Damia, De las Cuevas, Armenteros, Puñal, Sisi, Cejudo, Silva, Roberto Torres y Raoul Loe, Ariel Núñez, Manu Onwu, Oriol Riera
Projected Starting XIs
Villarreal 4-4-2: Asenjo;Mario-Musacchio-Dorado-Costa; Aquino-Bruno-Pina-Cani; Gio-Perbet/Uche
Osasuna 4-2-3-1: Andrés F;Damia-Arribas-Loties-Oriol; Puñal-Silva;Sisi-Armenteros-Nuñez;Riera
Preview Podcast (preview starts roughly at 15th minute)
I predicted a 1-2 loss in the podcast but upon further looking at their squad and how they have played since the beginning of preseason, I wont be surprised if we win and be very disappointed if we dont even get a point.The key is to keep a clean-sheet at half-time which very likely ensures that we have absorbed the best stuff Osasuna can throw at. Having a deep bench is quite handy!
Endavant Villarreal! a por los 3 puntos!