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Preview: Eibar vs. Villarreal

Villarreal visits its plucky cousins Eibar in jornada 31 of La Liga. Another derbi of sorts, but of a more modest kind. The hosts are looking to ensure another year of first-division football, while the visitors are trying to hold off three challengers for the final Champions League place.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Eibar. Unquestionably my second team in La Liga. A mini-Villarreal; an incredible story.

Ipurua is the venue for the fourth top-flight meeting between the armeros and the Yellow Submarine. 3 draws over the last 2 seasons. Shouldn't come as a big surprise -- Eibar's nickname is the Gunners after all!

Villarreal's 18 for the match includes nominal B team defenders Pablo Íñiguez and Adrián Marín and the return of Samuel García from long-term injury. No Mateo Musacchio (very worrisome injury recurrence while on international duty) and Daniele Bonera (rest up!), in addition to long-term absences Jaume Costa and Jonathan dos Santos (get well soon!).

  • Keepers: Asenjo and Areola.
  • Defenders: Rukavina, Ruiz, Bailly, Marín, and Íñiguez.
  • Midfielders: Pina, Bruno, Trigueros, Denis, Castillejo, Samuel, and Nahuel.
  • Strikers: Soldado, Bakambu, Baptistao, and Adrián.

Expected XI: Areola; Rukavina, Ruiz, Bailly, Marín; Trigueros, Bruno; Castillejo, Denis; Bakambu, Soldado.

The match begins at 12:15 pm Eastern Time and airs on beIN Sports en Español. With slip-ups from Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla to play afterwards, 3 points would be vital in the hunt for fourth place. Endavant Villarreal!