You might need a program to identify some of the Villarreal players tomorrow. Here’s the team call (note there are 19 players, one will be dropped before kickoff):
- Goalkeepers: Andrés and Barbosa.
- Defenders: Rukavina, Jaume Costa, Álvaro, Musacchio, Víctor Ruiz and Bonera.
- Midfielders: Rodrigo, Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, Soriano, Samu Castillejo, Larrea (26) and Raba (43).
- Strikers: Soldado, Bakambu, Santos Borré and Mario González (39).
Mario Gaspar and Bruno Soriano are both suspended. The injury list:
- Asenjo: Tear of anterior cruciate ligament in left knee.
- José Ángel: Muscle fibre tear in right groin.
- Adrián: Muscle strain.
- Sansone: Discomfort in right hamstring.
- Cheryshev: Muscle strain.
In case you are wondering why no Leo Suarez called up from the B team, he’s been on the shelf as well—don’t know when he can return. My guess is we’ll end up dropping Dani Raba so we have 6 midfielders.
Osasuna: They have all sorts of problems too, especially in defense, where Oier is suspended and Tono Bonnin (ex-Villarreal B), along with both Flaño brothers, are out with injuries. They’re missing a couple of midfielders, too. Osasuna have won exactly one match this season, on the road at Eibar of all places, and have lost 5 of their last six in the league. They had a brief flurry of goal-scoring activity at home (three vs Valencia and another three vs Sevilla in consecutive home matches in January), but of late, scoring has been a problem again.
All-time record: We’re 3-3-7 at El Sadar in the Primera; our last visit was in August 2013, where we won 3-0 with goals from Perbet, Aquino and Uche.
Of the players in our squad that day, only three are available tomorrow: Mateo Musacchio, Manu Trigueros and Jaume Costa. Andres Fernandez played in goal, but for Osasuna.
Prediction: A lot depends on how we react to Sunday’s aftermath, especially the injuries. If we had Asenjo in goal, I’d be confident we’d pitch a shutout, but without him, no. Osasuna 1-2 Villarreal is my prediction. Goals from Bakambu and Samu, I think. Endavant!