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Granada-Villarreal PREVIEW

It’s time for the first match of the La Liga season for Villarreal!! Which also means of course the first of our previews. Allen channels optimism for the season ahead, hopefully he will be proven correct.

Mario Gaspar prior to Monaco match
Getty Images

Villarreal play Granada Saturday in a match between two teams who have made a lot of changes this offseason. Paco Jemez has taken over the coaching reins at Los Carmenes so his teams will at least be interesting to watch, but a lot of their more talented players over the last couple of years have departed. Isaac Success, Ruben Rochina, Jhon Cordoba, Youssef El-Arabi....they’re gone.

They did bring in Ecuadorian center forward José Angulo, but otherwise it’s more loanees like Meme Ochoa from Malaga, Jon Toral from Arsenal’s youth system and Gastón and Gabriel Silva from Udinese and Torino, respectively.

Villarreal of course have rung the changes on and off the pitch. This match should feature the debut in yellow of Nicola Sansone. Pato is clearly still not match-fit for 90 minutes and the injury list is daunting. Coach Escribá has not had much time to figure out his best combination of players, but we’re pretty confident he will start Ruiz and Musacchio as the two CB’s.

Prediction: Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised by anything, except possibly 0-0; there should be goals in this. I’m going to say 2-1 to Villarreal. Endavant!!