Paco Alcacer is back! And if he comes on as a sub to score a huge goal with a single touch of his boot, none of us will be surprised. Hopefully, though, this game does not require heroics, and we can power through a straightforward league win. Three points would land us one point behind Real Sociedad, who plays after us, and three points about Real Madrid, who will have a game in hand. It will also help us gain ground on Sevilla and Barcelona, who both lost yesterday, and Granada had a 3-3 draw with Huesca.
Big opportunity awaits us in this one, after three draws in our last five league matches, let’s get a win!
As expected, Samu’s goal against Sivasspor (and really, his overall play) tips him to get the starting nod over Kubo as Gerard slides inside. And LOOK, it’s Alex Baena stepping in on the left as Emery opts for the youngster over the overlapping fullbacks he played with Estupinan and Pedraza. Paco makes the bench, and I would imagine he gets a cameo, Yeremi is also on the bench and I’d love to see him out there. The midfield brings no surprises, with the first choice Iborra, Parejo, Trigueros triumvirate holding down the fort. I think if the over/under is 62.5% possession for Villarreal, I’d take the over. Iborra played a decent number of minutes at midweek, so Coquelin for him at the hour mark may be a planned substitution here.
Elche hadn’t dropped their lineup by the time I was ready to publish so they’ll have to get dropped in sometime later.