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Villarreal-Espanyol in the Copa in January

Matches on the 8th and 15th.

Villarreal v Espanyol - La Liga
Santi against Espanyol in 2009.
Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Everyone was paying attention to the Europa League match, but we also had the draw for the Copa del Rey octafinals yesterday.

Villarreal will host Espanyol on January 8 with the return leg on January 15. This is something of a difficult time for us, as we return to action on Thursday Jan 3 (hosting Real Madrid) and then play at Eibar on the 5th, hosting Getafe at home on the 12th, and Athletic Club at home on the 19th. Regardless of the exact day and match times—this being Spain, we don’t know these yet—you’d have to say that these Copa games come among some matches that we should view as winnable; at least, only Madrid are in the top eight right now, and none of the other teams have shown anything like consistent form (not that any club in la Liga has this season!).

Espanyol have lost their last four league matches, so aren’t in great form either, though they are at least on 21 points compared to our 14. If we have picked up enough points in our matches against Huesca, Madrid and Eibar to feel pretty good about league survival, then I expect we’ll field a strong team in the Espanyol match on the 8th. If not, then I figure we’ll focus on the Getafe and Athletic Club home games.