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Osasuna—Villarreal GAMETHREAD

Here we go!

SOCCER: FEB 02 La Liga - CA Osasuna at Villarreal CF Photo by Carlos Sanchez Martinez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Villarreal are in Pamplona to take on Osasuna. Last time we visited this ground we came away with nuttin’—today, we hope it’s a different story.

Here is the Villarreal starting XI: Asenjo; Mario, Albiol, Pau, Estupiñan; Trigueros, Foyth, Parejo; Yeremy Piño, Fer Niño, Gerard.

Bench: Rulli; Funes Mori, Samu, Raba, Take, Peña, Jaume Costa, Chakla, Moi, Baena, Alex Millan.

Seems pretty clear Emery is setting out in a 4-3-3, and a lot of our concerns about who would play on the left are solved by Estupiñan being OK.

Osasuna: Rubén; Nacho Vidal, Juan Cruz, David García, Oier; R.Torres, Rubén García, Ariadane, Moncayola; Budemir, Calleri.

Bench: Herrea, Martinez, Unai García, Darko, Kike Barja, Roncaglia, Brandon, Enric Gallego, Adrián, Iñigo Pérez, Raúl Navas, Javi Martínez

I hope I got their players in the right setup—they simply posted a video with them going by squad number (evidently) and I’m trying to type while one of our cats is interested in standing of the way of the screen. So I hope I got it all correct.

All-time record: In the Primera, we’re 4-3-8 at El Sadar. Our last victory here, in fact, was back in March 2017, though that’s partly a function of Osasuna being in the Segunda for a couple of years after that. Interestingly, in that March 2017 match Dani Raba was on our bench; must have been one of his first callups. Rafael Borré, of all people, came on as a sub in that one and scored twice in five minutes to ice the win.

Last visit was back in October 2019, when before 15,000 fans (you remember when we used to have them in stadiums?), Osasuna defeated us 2-1. Our goal was from Pau; Estupiñan played against us!

Prediction: I’m going for 1-1, given our recent results. Hopefully I’m being too pessimistic.