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Villarreal—Sivasspor GAMETHREAD

We kick off our Europa League campaign!!

Ahead of Villarreal v Sivasspor - UEFA Europa League
It’s time for Europa League football!!
Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Villarreal host Sivasspor, and here is our team:

Villarreal: (4-4-3) Rulli; Ruben Peña, Foyth, Albiol, Jaume Costa; Trigueros, Alex Baena, Coquelin; Take Kubo, Bacca, Chukwueze.

our substitutes are Asenjo; Mario, Pau, Iborra, Dani Raba, Paco, Moi, Pedraza, Carlo Adriano, Yeremi, Fer Niño.

Interesting that Funes Mori is not in the squad, presumably because of injury?

Sivasspor: (4-1-2-3) Mamadou Samassa (GK); Yalçin, Osmanpasa, Camara, Çiftçi; Cofie; Arslan, Fajr; Yatabaré, Gradel, Kayode.

This is the Submarine debut for Juan Foyth and Geronimo Rulli, the first start for Kubo, and the first start for Alex Baena as well. (you may remember he played as a substitute against Real Sociedad in July, so has already made his Villarreal first-team debut).

No surprise that Carlos Bacca is in the striker role, and even with our injuries the bench looks good. It’s nice to see Pau Torres finally getting a rest! And the Real Madrid fanbase will doubtless be delighted to see that Kubo is indeed starting, since that seems to have bothered them rather more than their team’s poor form of late!

The match is available on CBS All Access in the USA for streaming; I don’t know about coverage elsewhere. The other match in our group is happening at the same time—Maccabi Tel Aviv is hosting Qarabag.

I’m going to stick with my 3-1 prediction, and I will be interested to see how well Ruben Peña has recovered from his injury and whether Kubo and Samu can create problems for the Sivasspor back line, among other things. Endavant Villarreal!!!!