It hasn't been the best of luck for Villarreal's traveling party this summer. First the club found the practice pitches they were planning to use near Leeds were poor, so returned home after the Middlesborough friendly; now, they fly to Wales and find out when they get to their hotel the area is locked down because of a hostage situation. Fortunately, that was resolved. Let's hope the long trip to Astana doesn't offer any problems!
To return to this match, Jonathan de Guzman doesn't feature for either side. Apparently negotiations with Swansea for his permanent transfer haven't produced anything, and we have "other offers" for him we're considering. Truth to tell, I don't know the current Swansea coach is particularly interested in keeping him. Besides, the Swans fell in love with ex-Villarreal man Jefferson Montero and signed him.
Swansea City finished 12th in the Premier League last season. They became the first Welsh club to play in the EPL in 2011, and won the League Cup in 2012-13, their first "major trophy" (they've won the Welsh Cup 10 times, and the Football League Trophy for lower-division clubs twice).
Swansea have a sizeable Spanish connection. It began with Roberto Martinez, who joined the Swans as manager in February 2007 and signed Angel Rangel, a right back then playing with Sant Andreu. Fast forward seven years, and Rangel is still there, joined now by Chico Flores, Jordi Amat and José Cañas. (Martinez, of course, went on to manage Wigan Athletic and is now at Everton).
(Their most famous Spanish import, Michu, has been loaned to Napoli this season and is expected to be sold to them next year).
Swansea are roughly 20% owned by their fans, in the form of a Supporters' Trust. And they've been profitable since getting in the EPL. Their current ground holds only about 20,000 so there are plans to expand it to about 35,000. For this match, they will be using a new ticketing system, apparently. We hope it works out well!!
Of course the big question mark is whether Mateo Musacchio will leave for Tottenham; he is not playing in this match, though how much one should read into that I do not know. We should get our first glimpse of Luciano Vietto, though not Victor Ruiz.
We still have a friendly against Sassuolo (the Ceramica Trophy) next weekend, but this might be our toughest friendly in terms of opposition so I expect we will see a fairly strong lineup out there for us. Endavant!!
Radio/TV: The match won't be streamed by Villarreal, because Gol TV will show it live in Spain. There should be streams at the usual places, therefore. And Javi Mata will cover it on Radio Vila-real.