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Villarreal at Atletico: La Liga Gamethread


Villarreal CF v Levante UD - La Liga Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images

A couple things to look for today:

  1. The first time we get a shot on goal we’ll have outperformed Liverpool against Atletico, please feel free to tell all your friends at that point that we are better than Liverpool.
  2. The last time these two teams met, there were a lot of shots. A surprising number of shots. That said, most of them were not great quality. Atleti is rounding into the peak of their rough and tumble low block style right now. I don’t expect this to be the prettiest game of football.

Starting Lineups

I had said yesterday in a comment thread that starting Alberto was a mistake I believed Calleja was willing to make. Hopefully he does well, hopefully he stays fit, but I can’t help but think this is a big ask from a player who has been hurt almost the entire season. It’s good to see Ruben get the nod over Mario which is exactly what we called for here.

Anguissa starts on the bench, which I’m not thrilled about. I know Trigueros has been in form but I’d rather have Zambo out there breaking up counter attacks and progressing through lines with the ball at his feet, because I think Atleti is going to sit back and be hard to break down.

In what is a shock to no one, Atleti roll out their 442. Notable difference in the midfield from their Champions League match against Liverpool is Lemar is out of the squad entirely while Vitolo starts. Lemar has had an awful season so I kinda hate that he’s missing.

No Trippier or Gimenez (in the starting XI), no Diego Costa on the bench. Joao Felix is the forward we’re likely to see off the bench (because when a player costs that much you have to play him even if he’s in over his head). If Atleti have a lead at any point in the second half I expect Llorente for Vitolo to try to lock down the match and ugly the game up some.

No reason we can’t get a result here. Endavant Villarreal!