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Villarreal-Valencia PREVIEW

The “Derby de la Comunitat”, always a vibrant match.

Villarreal CF v Liverpool - UEFA Europa League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Villarreal host Valencia tomorrow in what is always a big match for all Villarreal fans—the “village team” going up against the club from the big city. It’s given extra spice this time because of the struggles the big-city team is having, on the pitch and off it (Sid Lowe has an article about Valencia’s problems here). Suffice it to say that the Peter Lim era has brought about more chaos than anything else, and while the Valencia fanbase is always a demanding one, club president Layhoon hasn’t helped things by some of her comments about the supporters.

It must be said things are looking up a bit for Los Che, though. Caretaker coach Voro at least knows he’s coach until the end of the year, and Valencia did pick up a 2-1 win against Espanyol last time out, and is now four points clear of the relegation places. And, while the club finances are a mess, they were able to at least bring in Simone Zaza on loan—they only have to buy him for €16m if he plays in 10 of their remaining league matches.

As for Villarreal, the agonizingly bad draw against Deportivo not only saw us fall from fourth to sixth in the league table, but it seems to have persuaded the club that another striker is needed. The Submarine defense has been stingy (12 goals allowed, first in the league) but we’ve only scored 26 goals—and 5 of those came in one match! (Valencia have scored 26 too, but allowed 33).

Team news: Because of the horrible weather (3” of rain), outdoor practice for Villarreal was impossible today—they trained indoors, including playing basketball!

Well, if we win tomorrow, maybe it can become a thing.

All-time record: Really close. In the league), Villarreal is 13-7-12 (9-4-3 at home); in all competitions, 14-9-15 (10-5-4 at home).

Prediction: Villarreal 2-1, which will make the all time record 15-9-15, and 52 goals apiece. Why not?

Trivia: Well, probably not so much trivia, but our last match—in the Mestalla—we won 2-0 with a second-string lineup, ahead of the trip to Anfield. Marcelino’s last victory at Villarreal, as it turned out.