It's taken a day for all the euphoria and everything to wear off, but now it's back to business--La Liga business. Villarreal make the short trip down to Valencia on Sunday, taking on Valencia in the next-to-last match of jornada 36.
The timing is good for the Submarine, to be honest. The earlier matches on Sunday are Athletic Club-Celta and Espanyol-Sevilla.
If Athletic Club have won, Villarreal will know that three points from their remaining three matches would guarantee fourth place; if Celta win, on the other hand, the pressure will be on because they would effectively be even with us in points (since they win a tiebreak). A Celta-Athletic draw is OK, but we'd need four points, rather than three, to close the Galicians out and claim fourth for ourselves.
So, in some ways, how Villarreal approaches this might depend on that result. Then again, it might be a bot of a test run as far as tactics, if not lineup, since I would expect Marce to play pretty defensively and hope to let Los Che have most of the possession.
A couple of things to whet your appetite ahead of the preview tomorrow and the match on Sunday.
First, if you are in the Los Angeles area, and you'd like to watch the match, the first Valencia penya in the USA is based down there, and they are planning to watch the match at Dublin's Irish Whiskey Pub, 815 W 7th, LA. The pub opens at 11, the match begins at 11:30. Just look for folks with those senyera shirts and Valencia scarves. (Now that we know where they are located, we are already talking about trying to plan some sort of event for next year's matches).
Second, to get you in the mood, here is an EXCELLENT video done last year by Copa 90 about the Valencia-Villarreal Derby. It's called "Battle of the Brothers", if you don't know why that title is appropriate, you will after watching it. It was filmed before our 0-0 draw at the Mestalla in April of last year. We'd take that scoreline again, I'm sure!