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Deportivo-Villarreal PREVIEW

Win and we’re in. Europe, that is.

APV w/ Elche

Villarreal play already-relegated Deportivo, knowing that a win in Galicia will definitely see the Submarine qualify for the Europa League. After playing poorly on Thursday in the Camp Nou, a big recovery is needed here.

Depor will be missing some key players—Boveda, Schär, Sidnei and Colak, most likely—while Villarreal will have pretty much their regular squad of late. Certainly our squad call is identical to the last one, except that Rukavina is available again, so Adrian Marín drops off;

Keepers: Asenjo, Andrés Fdez.

Defenders: Mario Gaspar, Álvaro, Víctor Ruiz, J. Costa, Rukavina, Bonera

Midfielders: Cheryshev, P. Fornals, S. Castillejo, Trigueros, Rodrigo, Javi Fuego, Raba

Strikers: Bacca, Enes Ünal, Sansone

This is Depor’s last home match of the season. Will the crowd give them a lot of positive support as they get ready for a return to the Segunda, or will it be a fairly passive home support?

Villarreal are only 6-2-7 in the league since the beginning of February, with glaring losses at home to Athletic Club and an away loss to an awful Malaga side. We can’t afford to lay another egg like those.

Prediction: With Depor’s makeshift back four, we should score. But with former Villarreal players like Adrian and Florin Andone playing against us, it feels like a Depor goal is inevitable too. So, let’s say 1-1, as disappointing as that would be...

Note: Other matches at the same time are Real Betis-Sevilla and Getafe-Atletico Madrid; a Getafe loss or draw would ensure we qualify for Europe regardless of result, while if Villarreal do better than Sevilla in this round, Sevilla would finish behind Villarreal—but could still finish seventh.

Most other combinations of results mean the issue isn’t resolved until the final week of the season. Even Betis could theoretically lose out on Europe if they lost their last two matches and other results go against them.