Welcome everyone to the somethingth annual Villarreal USA prediction contest. (sixth annual?)
If you have competed before you'll know that even with modest success you have a good chance to win something, because the standard of our predictions (taken as a group) has not been high. Take last year, for instance: all of us completely, completely missed the emergence of Cedric Bakambu as Villarreal's leading scorer.
(Full disclosure: I somehow thought Valencia was going to make the Champions League last season as well, so....).
Unfortunately, our injuries and coaching turnover have taken away some excellent possibilities for questions. I was all set to go with how many matches would Marcelino miss through suspension, how often would Roberto Soldado get booked for pulling his angry face, all that stuff. Oh well.
As compared to last season, when a finish somewhere in the top seven was pretty much forecast by everyone, I am expecting a lot more scatter in the data, certainly when it comes to predicting how Villarreal will do.
So. Read the questions carefully, and answer them all. Good luck to all!
Oh, yes, the prizes. Last year the winners told me they really didn't care about the prizes, they just enjoyed the competition, but of course this year will be different. We will offer Villarreal USA scarves to the three top scores, and will throw in whatever other sort of Villarreal stuff we can come up with. I'll work on that.
(1) Name the four qualifiers for the Champions League (top four La Liga finishers in 2016-17)
(2) Name the qualifiers for the Europa League (fifth through seventh in La Liga, or fifth and sixth in 2016-17 plus Copa del Rey winner, if not one of the top six teams)
(3) Where will Villarreal finish in La Liga, and how many points will they collect?
(4) How many points will Villarreal get from the group phase of the European competition in which they play?
(5) How far will Villarreal get in the Copa del Rey?
(6) How far will Villarreal get in European competition this season?
(7) Who will lead Villarreal in goals scored (all competitions)?
(8) Who will lead Villarreal in goals (La Liga), and how many goals will he score?
(9) Who (excepting goalkeepers) will lead Villarreal in games played in all competitions?
(10) Who will lead Villarreal in yellow cards (La Liga only)?
now the funky ones.....
(11) Will Fran Escriba still be coach for our last match of the La Liga season?
(12) Will Mateo Musacchio still be a Villarreal player, as of the last match of the season?
(13) Who will get more points this year, Villarreal or Valencia?
(14) Who will score more goals: Sansone, Pato, or Bakambu? (ALL COMPETITIONS)
(15) Who will be the highest rated Villarreal player on who scored (La Liga only, minimum 10 appearances)?
(16) Which team will finish highest in its division: Villarreal B, or Villarreal C?
Entries: You can enter either by putting your entry in the comments section below, or (especially if you're seeing this on facebook) by emailing your entry to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put "PREDICTION CONTEST" in the subject line.
THE DEADLINE FOR ENTERING IS TUESDAY, 11 AM PACIFIC TIME (45 minutes before the kickoff of the second leg of the Monaco-Villarreal playoff).
GOOD LUCK TO ALL!