It’s a common adage that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Villarreal fans can add two more:
(1) if Villarreal wins tomorrow against Eibar at the Ceramica, we will be in the Primera next season;
(2) if Girona lose at home to Levante, Villarreal will be in the Primera next season.
That’s really it. The other matches tomorrow involving Celta and Valladolid only matter to Villarreal if neither (1) and (2) happen.
So, Eibar. They come in with 46 points (11th overall) and a reasonably nondescript away record—2 wins, 8 draws, 8 losses. But they have won two in a row (including an away win at the Mestalla) and looking at their record, it is so in and out it is hard to discern a pattern. They are good at set pieces (both defending and attacking) and they are good in the air. But on the other hand, they don’t have great finishers and they don’t protect leads that well.
Charles (remember him?) is their leading scorer with 14 goals, and Sergi Enrich, who just signed a new contract with them, is next with 7.
Arbilla, Peña, Cardona and Escalante are out, Diop is doubtful.
Villarreal have the usual missing players due to injury (Bonera, Miguelón, Bruno). I had thought Funes Mori was suspended but apparently not?
All-time record: 3-3-3 in the Primera (2-1-1 at home), 8-5-10 overall (7-1-3 at home; we couldn’t beat Eibar away in the Segunda to save ourselves!)
Prediction: My mind says 2-2; my heart says ya gotta believe and with a full house, maybe we can find a way to prevail, 2-1.
Personal note: This is the 34th anniversary of the Valley Parade fire (Bradford). I was supposed to attend that match, but had to change my plans shortly beforehand. I had planned to sit in the stand that burned.
So while I’d like to say that tomorrow’s match is a matter of life and death, no. Let’s hope attending a football match never is again. Be safe, everyone, and ENDAVANT VILLARREAL.