How to watch: the match is being broadcast live on BeInSport’s first channel, starting at 10:25 AM Pacific Daylight time.
What’s at stake: Potentially, a lot, then again, maybe not much. Speculation continues to swirl around Villarreal coach Javi Calleja, but Villarreal have never prioritized the Copa del Rey. So probably today’s result will be meaningless, unless the team looks as though they’ve given up on the current coach—which doesn’t appear to be true so far.
Probably, Calleja has to win our next two league matches to stay employed after the international break starts. The front office, as usual, has said nothing, but that’s the opinion of most that follow the team. We shall see.
Almeria don’t care much about this competition either, at least not at this stage; their coach was quoted as saying they’d be looking at some B teamers in this match. The two-legged nature of these ties definitely deadens the excitement; so far Sporting Gijon are the only Segunda team to win at home (2-0 over Eibar) while Lugo drew 1-1 with Levante.
Villarreal’s starting XI: Andrés Fernandez; Miguelon, Mario, Victor Ruiz, Quintillà; Santi, Iturra, Layun, Raba, Sansone and Chukwueze.
Not sure exactly how the front six will line up, but clearly Calleja understands this match won’t decide his future—the one on Sunday might. He’s resting Asenjo, Caseres, Funes Mori, Fornals, Trigueros, Gerard, and Pedraza. That’s some bench.
No idea what Almeria’s lineup is—we’ll post it when we get it.