If we’re scarily honest, truly good football has only come from Villarreal in flashes and spurts lately. We started out okay against Qarabag before turning on the jets in the last twenty minutes or so to win. We played pretty uninspired against Cadiz, against Sivasspor we dominated early and dominated late and were pretty poor in between... injuries haven’t helped, but it’s high time we get back on track. Monday kickoffs are controversial in Spain (though I don’t mind them, personally, especially not if no fans can attend anyway), but that’s what we are looking at this time around.
Fortunately, the club we’re facing hasn’t just been inconsistent this season, they’ve been downright bad. Honestly, I thought before the season that by adding Fabian Orellana and Roque Mesa, they had secured safe passage through another La Liga season, but so far that has not been the case at all. This is a team with their backs up against the wall, and we should be ready for them to play with desperation. For more on Valladolid, check out our Q and A with Valladolid fan Marti Devlin in the link below.
Who will be healthy? That’s the biggest question for this match. Both Gerard Moreno and Estupinan have trained with the group this week, and if they are both available my confidence goes way up. Juan Foyth is on the injury list after only a couple performances for the club, and the glass doll that is Francis Coquelin is back on the injury list...
I think this all leads us back to a 442, unfortunately, so get ready for an Iborra/Trigueros double pivot:
I don’t love the 442, but if we get Gerard and Pervis back I think we can win with it anyway. I don’t have a ton of confidence in our ability to keep a clean sheet though, as I think transition defense may be a bit of an issue, so a 2-1 win is my predicted scoreline.