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GameThread: Villarreal vs. Levante

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All aboard the Europa League express? Villarreal CF hosts regional rivals Levante UD on Saturday afternoon in jornada 33 of Spain's La Liga. This local derbi could put the Submarino Amarillo within touching distance of European football on its return to the top flight.

Pina: making an impact recently.
Pina: making an impact recently.
Denis Doyle
It's a big match, says Tomás Pina, and no one conveys importance quite like him. Bruno Soriano agrees, and when the captain speaks, everyone listens. International Fan Day at El Madrigal -- not quite like Real Oviedo, but it takes time. A reasonable Saturday afternoon kickoff for a local derbi. All the ingredients for a good match, despite Villarreal's recent struggles.

Marcelino García Toral's squad for the match (one player will drop out):
Keepers: J. Carlos, Asenjo.
Defenders: Mario, J. Costa, Jokic, Pantic, Gabriel, Musacchio.
Midfielders: Bruno, Manu, Pina, Cani, J. Román, Óliver, Aquino.
Strikers: Jony, Perbet, Gio, Nahuel.

Dorado, Íñiguez, Moi, and Uche are sidelined with injuries. Musacchio should be fully fit, and Gio is still recovering from a knock -- he has been ruled out of a full 90 minutes. A fond welcome back to Óliver after missing the Atlético Madrid match pursuant to the terms of his loan. And Nahuel finds a place, at least in the squad of 19.

My expected Villarreal XI (4-2-2-2): Asenjo; Mario, Gabriel, Musacchio, Jokic; Pina, Bruno; Cani, Óliver; Gio, Perbet.
My expected Villarreal bench: J. Carlos; J. Costa, Pantic; Aquino, J. Román, Manu; Jony, Nahuel.

The match begins at 12 pm Eastern Time and airs on BeIN Sports en Español. Allen and I are traveling, and Ravi is busy with Seattle Sounders duties, but we'll be following along here and on Twitter. Join us @VillarrealUSA for more details. Endavant Villarreal!