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Leganés-Villarreal: PREVIEW

Our first trip to this ground in 17 years, and the first matchup of these two squads in the Primera.

Samu Castillejo rues a miss against Alaves
Maria José Segovia

Villarreal visits CD Leganes tomorrow, our first official game against this team since the Segunda season of 1999/2000.

Villarreal team news: A couple of big misses in our squad; Bruno has some fluid buildup somewhere on his right foot so is dropped (Escribá says ‘it’s complicated’, but he expects Bruno to be ready for the Thursday match) and Denis Cheryshev has a minor leg injury (‘distension’ of a muscle, not as serious as ‘elongation’ or a ‘sobrecarga’, which is more like a muscle tear).

In their places, Rodrigo has another callup, and so does Leo Suarez. The B team plays on Sunday at home, so presumably he could be available for that match as well. The squad is:

  • Keepers: Asenjo y Andrés Fernández.
  • Defenders: Mario, Rukavina, Jaume Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Musacchio and Álvaro.
  • Midfielders: Trigueros, Samu Castillejo, Roberto Soriano, Jonathan dos Santos, Rodrigo and Leo Suárez (shirt number 49).
  • Strikers: Sansone, Pato, Santos Borré and Bakambu.

CD Leganés: I haven’t been able to find their team call for Saturday, but they have a long injury list, and in fact have just signed Iago Herrerin on loan from Athletic as an emergency goalkeeper—he’ll start tomorrow in all likelihood. Adrian Marin, who we loaned to the blue and white squad, is injured; so too Diego Rico and Alexander Szymanowski, among others.

Leganés are 1-1-4 at home, the win coming against Osasuna, and with only six goals scored in those matches, the key for them will be trying to score off set pieces or defensive mistakes. Especially without Szymanowski, they just don’t have a lot of offensive firepower: they have been shout out in four of their last five league matches. Expect them to come out in a 4-2-3-1.

Villarreal might come out in a 4-2-3-1 of its own, but with Bruno out, and four strikers in the team call, a 4-4-2 is more likely. Defeating Toledo in the Copa was nice, but we need to get back to winning ways in the league, and especially we need to work on team focus and defensive stability ahead of Thursday’s must-win home tie against Steaua Bucharest.

Prediction: Leganés 0-2 Villarreal, goals by Pato and Soriano.