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Cordoba-Villarreal PREVIEW: no Cani, Gio, or Moi

Villarreal is set to face a desperate Cordoba: the green and whites are still looking for their first victory of the season, though they've drawn 7 of 12 matches so far.

Ghilas, Cordoba's leading scorer
Ghilas, Cordoba's leading scorer
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

After our European performance against Gladbach, the Yellow Submarine will be hoping to float up to the table. Many people felt a bit down about the European result, but at least we didn’t lose.

Last years away match against Cordoba we won comfortably 2-0.
The match against Getafe was a massive confidence booster so we should be fairly optimistic.  So far our away form hasn’t been too bad either, losing only one away match so far. We are still struggling defensively though , losing concentration in the final 10 minutes.  I'm not doubting the ability of Ruiz or Gabriel, but with Mussachio out until January we are missing a strong leader in defence.

It will be a interesting squad selection after playing in Europe. Defence will be expected to stay the same after Mario and Costa both having brilliant performances.  Midfield may see Bruno rested after he had a knock last weekend and he struggled against our German opponents. I have been impressed with Pina so it may be interesting to see him play alongside J dos Santos.

The squad call is the following:

  • Keepers: Asenjo y Juan Carlos.
  • Defenders: Mario, Rukavina, Jaume Costa, Adrián Marín, Dorado, Gabriel y Víctor Ruiz.
  • Midfielders: Bruno, Pina, Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, Cheryshev y Espinosa.
  • Strikers: Uche, Gerard y Vietto.

Note that Cani is now on the injured list (again), and Gio is still out.

Our opponents:

Cordoba come in last in the table, with seven points.  They lead the league in draws with seven--haven't won yet.  So they've been able to take points off other clubs, but not able to take three points themselves.

So far at the Nuevo Arcangel, Cordoba are 0-4-2. Without sounding arrogant we should be able to beat them.  They now lie 19th in the table and will be optimistic about taking us which could be dangerous.  When last we played in Cordoba, (March 2013 in the Segunda), we won 2-0 with goals from Mateo Musacchio and Jony Pereira, neither of whom will be with us tomorrow.

Cordoba is trying the loan route to stay up--their leading scorers, Nabil Ghilas and Fede, are on loan from Porto and Valencia respectively, and Fausto Rossi is on loan from Juventus (played at Valladolid last season).  Of course we loaned them Alexandar Pantic, who is not able to play in this match.

Their squad is: Juan Carlos, Saizar, Campabadal, I.López, Iago, Pinillos, Deivid, Luso, Fede Vico, Ekeng, Garai, Abel, Fede Cartabia, Borja, Fidel, Caballero, Xisco y Ghilas.

They have some players whom you might remember if you're a real fan of La Liga: Jose Crespo played for Sevilla at one time, Iago Bouzon has Primera experience too, with Recre years ago, and Iñigo Lopez featured for Granada and Celta.  Captain Borja Garcia played for Real Madrid Castilla when we were in the Segunda--you might remember him.  But that's about it; this is a team that hopes to succeed by keeping it tight and grinding out draws and enough 1-0 victories to stay up.  So far, the draws have been coming, the wins haven't.

Kick off is at 7 Spanish time match between Cordoba (20th) and Villarreal CF my match prediction is 2-1 with yet another last minute goal.