Back in August we conducted our annual prediction contest (http://www.villarrealusa.com/2016/8/20/12548542/villarreal-usas-prediction-contest). With four matches left, it’s interesting to see some of the things that clearly were WRONG.
The top four in the league were mostly similar (just a question of did people have Sevilla fifth, or us, for the most part), but the Europa league placings were a different story. Among the teams chosen by multiple people were Valencia, Celta and Malaga, while one person thought Espanyol would challenge. And I have NO IDEA what I was doing thinking Depor would finish seventh! Interestingly, pretty much everyone thought Athletic Club would finish in the European places, only one picked Real Sociedad.
Almost half thought Valencia would finish ahead of Villarreal.
25% of you thought Fran Escriba would not be coaching Villarreal by the time the last match of the season rolled around, and a third of people thought Mateo Musacchio would not be a Villarreal player at this point.
As for our leading scorer, there were three questions: who would our leading scorer in La Liga be (at the moment it is Soriano with 9), who would be our leading scorer in all competitions (Soriano has 10, Bakambu and Sansone are both close). Only one person chose Soriano has leading scorer in the league, but even there, Bakambu got the nod for top scorer overall. As for Alexander Pato, several of us chose him, and of course that was not so good.
One of the more interesting questions asked who will be our top-rated player on Whoscored. Most everyone chose Bruno Soriano, though a couple of us (me again!) thought Denis Cheryshev, and there were votes for Roberto Soriano, Nicola Sansone, and Mario Gaspar.
Well, this one is interesting. We did specify a minimum of 10 appearances, and at the moment José Angel actually has the highest rating, but has only played in six matches. He’s likely to get the start against Sporting, but it’s not too likely he’ll play in each of our remaining four—so it looks as if it probably will be Bruno who wins this.
Another fun one asked for the player who will make the most appearances in all competitions. Right now it’s Bruno, Jona dos Santos and Samu Castillejo with 42 appearances, Manu Trigueros with 41, Roberto Soriano with 40, Mario on 39. (In the league, Manu has 33, Mario 32).
And finally, yellow cards. This one is always fun. Battling Jaume Costa is the current leader with 10 yellows, Roberto Soriano is next with 8. (Both have one red card, too). Victor Ruiz has four yellows and two reds, Musacchio five yellows. Roberto Soldado has six yellows, which is pretty impressive considering he’s only made eight appearances!