Villarreal suffered, huffed and puffed but hung on to dear life to get 3 points at a desperate but struggling and poor Getafe. Almost everything that could have gone wrong went wrong at the Coliseum. May be that was just the kind of night we needed to refocus on the goal of "European Football" or may be not. Either way, we dont have to wait very long to find out.
Provincial rivals Elche are in town on Sunday. Fran Escriba's Elche have been a tough nut to crack for Villarreal. They did the double on us in 2nda last year and almost beat us in the 1st leg of the Copa round of 32 at El Madrigal. While we did have some hardfought success at Martinez Valero, generally Elche has been a tough fixture for us.
Playing style and tactics
Villarreal always has had trouble with teams that are very direct. Elche is a very skillful direct team. They have a few skillful players like Coro and Manu Del Moral and the speedy Cristian Herrera. With Moral out for this match, I expect Richmond Boayke will start as the center-forward.
They try to play through Coro all the time and try to get behind defenses with long balls and speed fiy nrom the wide. They dont create a whole lot on their own but they look to force errors from their opponents and take advantage of them.
To play well against Elche you have to play them as if you are playing an away game. The fact that we've had more success at their stadium than playing them at El Madrigal is an indication of it.
Injuries have taken a huge toll of the Villarreal squad. Giovani Dos Santos is out for up to a month based on various reports although the club hasnt given an official timeline. Jaume Costa's card has been revoked. Aquino and Musachhio are out injured as well. The good news is that Mario is back which means we have a right footed player at right-back again.
Juan Carlos y Asenjo, Mario, Blázquez, Jaume Costa, Pantic y Gabriel, Bruno, Pina, Trigueros, Cani,
Óliver, Moi Gómez y Joan Román, Jonathan Pereira, Uche, Perbet y Juanto
Manu Herrera y Toño, Damián, Botía, Pelegrín, Cisma, Sapunaru y Charlie, Rivera, Rubén Pérez, Fidel,
Carles Gil,Carlos Sánchez, J. Márquez, Javi Flores y Rodrigues, Boakye, Coro y Cristian.
Villarreal Likely XI 4-4-2
Asenjo; Mario-Pantic-Gabriel-Jaume; Oliver-Bruno-Trigueros-Cani; Uche-Perbet
Elche Likely XI 4-3-3
Herrera; Sappunaru-Pelegrin-Charlie-Damian; Marquez-Rivera-Sanchez; Coro-Boakye-Cristian
Elche is desperate for points to seal permanency. I expect them to pursue a win seriously. Villarreal's rivals for 5th Sevilla have slipped up at Celta Vigo yesterday. A win would be a big boost to our hopes of playing in Europa League next year. Promises to be a very good match. Elche will also have a lot of traveling fans to support them at El Madrigal.
Endavant Villarreal! Let us get the 3 points