Yes, it's time again for an Atleti visit to El Madrigal. Hard to see these guys come in without remembering how they defeated us in the last round of the 2011-12 season to send us down to the Segunda, but at least we have the memory of our last visit to the Calderón, Luciano Vietto spinning Diego Godin like a top and finishing with a goal to defeat the mattress-makers.
Unfortunately, Vietto is missing this week, and we have lots of other absentees as well. Uche, Gio, Bruno, Musacchio and Cheryshev are all out, and Jonathan dos Santos is suspended.
Atleti, though, are at pretty much full strength, though Cani can't play against us.
Villarreal: Asenjo and Juan Carlos; Mario, Rukavina, Jaume Costa, Jokic, Víctor Ruiz, Dorado and Eric Bailly; Trigueros, Sergio Marcos, Pina, Anton Shvets (number 64), Alfonso Pedraza (number 61), Moi Gómez y Campbell; Gerard and Fran Sol (number 43).
So what do we expect? Probably Ruiz and Bailly in the center, Jokic and Mario on the wings. So, Jaume Costa on the wing again? Or Moi and Campbell on the wing? Again, the problem is if we go with the latter, our bench is rather weak. I like Gerard and Campbell up front again, and Moi on the bench....but then, do we play Pina and Sergio Marcos in the pivote, and Trigueros on a wing? Hmmm......
Atleti: These guys are in third place, and they need to win to stay comfortably ahead of Valencia. In addition, Diego Simeone is facing charges that (gasp) "Atleti is boring!!". So, expect them to start a strong team and go all out here.
Prediction: Look, I want to be optimistic, and I know we will give 100% effort ourselves, but we are just too shorthanded at the moment to put a lot of pressure on Atleti's defense. So, it all comes down to how well we can withstand Atleti's "boring" tactics. 0-0 is my bet.