Villarreal bid farewell to the Cerámica stadium for this La Liga season with a home match against Deportivo on Sunday. We’re hoping for a different result than in the penultimate round of La Liga last season, when we lost at home 2-0 to Depor in the same fixture. Of course, that came right after we had been eliminated by Liverpool in the Europa league semis, and we had nothing really to play for; this year, it couldn’t be more different.
Celta’s loss in this year’s Europa league semifinals means they have no chance to pay in Europe, so the top four clubs will have to go to the CL, the next two will go to the EL. Seventh will as well, unless Alaves defeat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.
At the moment, Villarreal are in 5th with 63 points and own the tiebreak over both Athletic Club (62) and Real Sociedad (62), who host Leganes and Malaga tomorrow, respectively. A win here for the Yellow Submarine and anything but a win for both of those clubs would render next weekend’s matches meaningless, so the stakes are high.
Depor: 5 points ahead of Sporting with two matches to play, any sort of result would guarantee they’ll remain in the Primera next season, though Pepe Mel’s club have not set the world on fire. Their road record is 1-6-11 with 16 goals scored and 38 allowed. Joselu and Luisinho are out, Mosquera and Sidnei are doubtful. This is not a team with a lot of talent, though for some reason we have found it hard to exploit that difference; we played to a 0-0 result back in January where we got a season-low four shots (only one on target).
Villarreal: Victor Ruiz should be back, which is good news; Bruno Soriano’s troublesome knee may give Rodri another start though. Cedric Bakambu has been on fire of late; expect he and Roberto Soldado to start. Jonathan dos Santos may give way to Samu Castillejo in midfield, though.
All-time record: 11-6-12 in the Primera against Depor (7-2-5 at home).
Prediction: Villarreal 2-0 Depor.