How to watch: Villarreal CF LIVE is broadcasting it. Go to the official website (villarrealcf.es) and click the red “LIVE” button, which will be blinking to catch your attention once the broadcast starts. It’s just under the “EndaVant” logo on the top right of the homepage. No idea what the camera setup or anything will be for this one, but presumably there will be commentary along with the video feed. (Radio Vila-real is there too and will be broadcasting the match).
The match itself: Villarreal and Levante meet up in Alcoi (Alcoy, in Spanish) this afternoon for a friendly, which might—or might not--take on some extra meaning given the two clubs will meet in just over three weeks’ time to start their La Liga seasons. (the second time in four years we’ll start with Levante; we won 2-0 down there jornada 1 of 2014).
To date, Villarreal have approached their friendlies more-or-less as training ground exercises, featuring a raft of B teamers along with first-team players, and we’ve been very careful not to risk anyone on the injury list (not that we actually know much about most of the injuries; we don’t).
Levante have approached things a bit differently as they get ready for a return to the Primera, fielding stronger lineups against Segunda B and Tercera opposition and winning four straight friendlies. However, Roger Martí, who score 22 times for them last season and was being counted on to spearhead their attack, injured his ACL in a match against Almeria and will be out perhaps six months. I am sure they are working the transfer market to try to bring someone in on loan, at least.
The ground: Alcoyano’s little Collao ground holds about 4500 spectators and is often referred to as an “English-style” ground. Low stands, not very deep, so everyone is close to the action, lots of ads for local businesses on the outer walls—the way many lower-division grounds in England were in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. I doubt any of that will come across today on the broadcast, but it’s a much-loved “stadium”, originally built in 1929. Alcoy itself is a town of about 60,000 people, inland from Alicante at about 1800 feet elevation.
The starting teams below when we get them. I can tell you both teams have arrived at the ground! Endavant!