Villarreal returned to practice now focused on the trip to Barcelona on Wednesday for the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal. Meanwhile, our opponent next Sunday in the league, Rayo Vallecano, lost 2-0 at Elche--the goals were by Suarez and Rodrigues, and the result lifts the illicitanos off the bottom of the table. The colista is now Granada (18), with Cordoba also on 18, Levante 19, and Elche 20.
Raul Baena was sent off so will miss our match, and Javier Aquino (who played the first half only) is unavailable against us.
As it turns out, our key rivals (Sevilla, Valencia, and Malaga) are all opposite us on the calendar--that is, when we play away, the three of them are home, and vice versa. It's important therefore for us to keep up our strong road form against Rayo, especially since the other three have pretty winnable home matches against Cordoba, Getafe and Espanyol.
First, though, there's the small matter of the visit to the Camp Nou. Endavant!!