Villarreal hosts Sporting Gijón tomorrow morning early; this is the first time the two clubs have met in the Primera since May 2012, and Sporting's first visit to El Madrigal since March 2013, when an Ike Uche stoppage-time goal gave the yellow Submarine a 2-1 win.
We are 3-1-0 at home against Sporting in the Primera, 1-0-1 in the Segunda (only loss was in 1999-2000 season) and we also have a home win against Sporting in the 2001-02 Copa del Rey. So overall, our record against them is pretty good.
When Sporting played us in El Madrigal to open the 2011-12 Primera season, Manolo Preciado was their manager; he of course passed away from a heart attack immediately after accepting the Villarreal job the following summer. And our current coach, Marcelino, has deep connections to Gijon. He began his playing career in their youth program, then played for four seasons (1985-89) with the first team. He coached Sporting's reserves from 1998 to 2003, then Sporting from 2003 to 2005.
Here is are the highlights from that March 2013 Segunda match--only about 10,000 at El Madrigal that day, remember we were not that far removed from Marcelino taking over as coach and we were hanging around on the edge of the promotion playoff places. Little did we know we were in the early stages of a 13-6-1 run that would earn us promotion the last day of the season!