Sporting Gijón celebrate the 110th anniversary of their founding with a friendly match against Villarreal.
Sporting's team for the occasion is: Cuéllar, Alberto García, Luis Hernández, Álex Menéndez, Bernardo, Sergio Álvarez, Juan Muñiz, Guerrero, Nacho Cases, Lora, Canella, Jorge Meré, Jony, Carlos Castro, Mascarell, Isma López, Carmona, Rachid, Pablo Pérez, Guitián, Mendi y Sanabria.
Some of those are familiar from Sporting's last presence in the Primera, many are not. Sporting have had severe budget constraints, needed to pay debts due to the taxman, so their only two real additions have been Omar Mascarell, on loan from Real Madrid (you may remember he played for RM Castilla when we lost to them 5-0 in the Segunda) and Antonio Sanabria, a 19 year-old Paraguayan international striker on loan from Roma. But like Villarreal, Sporting have a very good cantera.
The Asturians have had a good preseason against lower-division opposition (six wins), three draws, including against Almeria and Valladolid, and a loss to Ponferradina. Their first match in the league is at the Bernabeu--might be a little tougher....
Villarreal's team is noteworthy for the inclusion of Roberto Soldado. He'll at least get to see what Marcelino wants out of his teammates, I suspect he may play some minutes in the second half but who knows. I'm sorry there won't be any TV for this one.
Our squad: Areola and Barbosa; Rukavina, Mario, Jokic, Jaume Costa, Pablo Íñiguez, Eric Bailly, Víctor Ruiz and Pantic; Pina, Bruno, Trigueros, Samu Castillejo, Espinosa, Alfonso, Nahuel, Rodri and Iván Alejo; Soldado, Leo Baptistao and Jonathan Pereira.
I would expect players like Pantic, Iñiguez, Espinosa, Jony to get some playing time, and Alejo, Nahuel and Rodri too. Exactly how seriously either side takes this game I don't know, but surely there will be a lot of substitutions and so on.
Remember Marcelino is an Asturias native, and came up in Sporting's cantera, playing for the first team for four years when in his early 20s. So I'm sure he'll enjoy showing off his team in front of his 'home' crowd.
No TV or broadcast on the official site; Javi Mata on Radio Vila-real is all we got, plus commentary on twitter from people. I'll try and check in a bit while the match is happening and give some updates.