It’s MONDAY! And that can only mean, thanks to the scheduling of La Liga, it’s finally time for Villarreal CF to kick off its season. We play newly-promoted Levante at their Ciutat de Valencia ground.
As seems to be usual in the Escribá era, we have no idea who is in our travelling party for this match. We do know that Cedric Bakambu is not playing due to yellow-card accumulation carrying over from last season; same for Jaume Costa. Other than that, who knows. Carlos Bacca is said to be ready to go for 90 minutes, so maybe he and Sansone in a 4-4-2, with Unal as a sub? Castillejo, Rodri, Trigueros, Soriano in the middle?
Levante are newly promoted back to the Primera, and they have pretty much changed the cast of characters from two years ago. Ex-Villarreal men Toño (played for Villarreal B 2011-2014), Jason (Villarreal B, 2014-15 on loan from Levante) and Verza (played very briefly for our first team in 2004 at age 17) are in the squad.
Their preseason wasn’t great either, and of course we defeated them 3-1 but it was quite even until they made as many subs as we had. We did learn their Macedonian player Enis Bardhi is one to watch.
All-time record: Villarreal have won 6, lost 2 (no draws) in Valencia against the granotes; however, one of those losses was last year (1-0 in round 7)
Amazingly enough, we have only drawn once in the Primera against the froggies, a 1-1 draw at El Madrigal in 2006.