Yes, it’s time for our last match review of 2019. Villarreal host one of the surprise equads of this year, Getafe. Well, actually they were the surprise of last year too, ending up narrowly missing out on a Champions League place and finishing fifth, with a home draw against us in their last match.
Getafe got off to a slow start this season with two losses and four draws in their first seven games, but since then are 7-2-1 in the league, with five wins in a row. They’ve qualified for the round of 32 in the Europa League (they’ll play Ajax Amsterdam in February), and are currently 4th in La Liga.
Pull up a chair and watch this team—they’ve been put together by some canny signings, but it’s unlikely they’ll be together that long. José Bordalas has done an excellent job building his team around a tough Uruguayan spine (Damian Suarez, Leandro Cabrera, Mauro Arambarri) with the outstanding Marc Cucurella, on loan from Barcelona, providing creativity in midfield. Cucurella will definitely be gone after this year and Arambarri, who signed a new contract this summer, will probably be on the move for big money next summer. So too could be defender Djené. Getafe splashed out €10m on Nemanja from Valencia in the summer, and he’s been good too—but again, maybe too good. Transfermarkt has him at a €20m valuation.
Up front, Bordalas is making use of a trio of players for two spots: Angel Rodriguez has 8 goals in under 800 minutes of action, Jaime Mata has 5 goals, Jorge Molina has 3.
Getafe may be without Jason (ex-Villarreal B and Levante) and young Brasilian Kennedy in midfield, so veteran Allan Nyom may get a start there.
Villarreal will be without Alberto Moreno in all likelihood, but Santi Cazorla is available again. I wouldn’t look for many changes—if any— from the team that took on Sevilla.
All-time record: Generally quite good (13-5-8 overall, 9-1-3 at home) though since we returned to the Primera, we’ve won three and lost two at home. Last year Getafe defeated Villarreal at the Ceramica 2-1 with goals from Molina and Angel. (You might remember this was the match where Toko Ekambi inexplicably took a penalty in injury time that could have tied it and missed).
Prediction: It’s going to be 2-1 to someone. Just not sure whom.
Trivia: At this time a year ago we were in 18th place, on 15 points, had just fired Javi Calleja and replaced him with Luis Garcia Plaza, and we were preparing for an away match at Huesca. So there’s that.