It’s hard to talk about Villarreal without mentioning the Europa league performance. I have heard words like crisis and disaster thrown around. It’s not the end of the world. We took on the mighty Madrid, and we can do it with Sevilla. 24 shots on the night, it's not as if we can't create chances.
But that is that, and Almeria is a different story. The Andalusian side are in the relegation zone, which makes them extremely dangerous in front of their home crowd. They have not won in the last four matches so they have nothing to lose. Still, their next two home matches--against Levante and Granada--might be more important in determining whether they stay up than this one.
Villarreal team news: The only fresh injury concern is Víctor Ruiz, who has muscle fatigue (that's why he wasn't called up for the Sevilla match), with long term injuries to Adrián Marín and Bruno. It's great news to have the return of Bojan Jokic, who has been included in the squad. Not sure if he’ll get a look in, but it’s still great to have him back.
The team call is: Asenjo, Juan Carlos; Musacchio, Mario, Jaume Costa, Dorado, Eric Bailly, Jokic, Rukavina, Tomás Pina, Jonathan dos Santos, Trigueros, Cheryshev, Moi Gómez, Campbell, Sergio Marcos. Uche, Giovani, Vietto and Gerard.
Now if you can count you'll see that's 20, so Marcelino will discard two before the match starts.
Almeria team news: The locals haven't scored in their last three matches, and of their six wins this season, five have been away! They've only scored nine times in twelve matches before the home supporters.
They will be without Ruben Martinez and Ximo Navarro, who suffered a muscle problem, while Javier Espinosa can't play against us. Ex-Mallorca man Tommer Hemed and Espanyol loanee Thievy Bifouma are the danger guys. And then there's 35 year-old Francisco Soriano, who you may remember as a hardman from our tussles in the Segunda.
My prediction is a safe 2-0 to gives us confidence into the next Europa league match; we are going to need it.