Villarreal travel to Valencia looking to get back on track after the trifecta of disappointing losses to Sevilla. Unfortunately, Los Che are looking pretty good, with seven straight home victories *the last three being shutouts). Meanwhile, Villarreal's good away form has fallen away of late: our last away win was back in December 2014, when Luciano Vietto turned Diego Godin around and fired home to give us a win at Atleti.
It might take that kind of effort to get anything out of this match. Not likely...but wouldn't it be cool of we did?
Valencia: Enzo Perez is injured, but pretty much everyone else is available for the former Unibats, including Gaya and Otamendi in defense, Fuego and Parejo in midfield, and Piatti, Alcacer and Feghouli at the top of their 4-3-3.
Villarreal: Moi Gomez is suspended, Bruno and Cheryshev are injured, Victor Ruiz is missing as a Valencia loanee, and Ike Uche has surprisingly been left out. The team call is:
- Porteros: Asenjo , Juan Carlos.
- Defensas: Mario, Rukavina, Jokic, Jaume Costa, Dorado, Musacchio , Eric Bailly.
- Centrocampistas: Pina, Sergio Marcos, Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, Campbell, Alfonso (dorsal 61).
- Delanteros: Vietto, Giovani , Gerard.
Midfield is going to be a problem, I'd guess, with Campbell really being the only out-and-out offensive player; I wouldn't be surprised to see Marce go very defensive and try to play Pina and Sergio Marcos in the middle, saving Trigueros for the last 30 minutes or so. As for the back four, Mario, Musacchio, Bailly, and Costa? I can't expect Jokic would start. Vietto and Gio would be my pick for the top two; Gio tends to play well against these guys.
Prediction: I'm not expecting anything from this one; I just think Valencia are going too be too tough and too inspired on the day, and Chery and Bruno will definitely be missed. 3-1 to Valencia; we'll put up a fight but a late goal for Los Che will end the drama.
But prove me wrong, Submarine! Endavant Villarreal!!
Robin (our eternal optimist) says:
Here it is the El Classico of all classicos. Last season seems so long ago when we beat them 4-1 at Villarreal.
Dani Parejo has been having a pop at our form recently but he isn’t wrong, we have been struggling through no fault of our own. Injuries have played a key part but that is no excuse with the quality we still have on offer.
This game isn’t just a derby. This match is vital for Villarreal to keep up the pressure for Euro place. We have got the difficult games out the way so with a bit of luck we can still press for fourth place.
We are 10 points away from it and anything can happen. Against Sevilla we were unlucky with shots on goal. Yes, a fair few of you left disappointed (and wet, Allen adds!!) but we did play well.
I hate to admit it but Valencia have been on fire this season. They are currently third, four points behind Real Madrid. We all remember their dominance back in the late 90s and we hope that isn’t about to be reignited
Coming back from an international break is always interesting. Like us Valencia didn’t have to many players away so they will be fresh. Problem for us is both Mateo and Eric played for their respective countries so it will be an interesting selection.
My prediction is a 2-1 to us, I think we will go all out on this one