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Villarreal at Granada: La Liga Preview

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But who’s gonna play CB?

Mirandes v Villarreal - Copa del Rey: Quarter Final Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

I don’t even wanna watch.

Pau Torres is suspended, Ramiro Funes Mori is out for the rest of the year, Raul Albiol is 34 and has played 180 minutes in our first two matches back from the break, Mario Gaspar isn’t really a CB and also has played every minute so far... we have an absolutely crucial game against Granada for our European chances and I have no earthly idea how we are going to stop them from scoring.

Our oppjonents

Since coming back from the break, Granada have beaten top four contenders Getafe and miraculously tied Betis. After they face us, they get Leganes and Eibar while we face Sevilla and Valencia. Losing is not an option. A draw would still put us in a bind. This has to be a win.

Granada is 8th in xG differential but gives up more than a goal per match on average. We ought to get on the score sheet if we can find a way to get our striker consistently involved. They aren’t particularly prolific on offense but as we mentioned above our defensive situation ain’t great.

Let’s not forget that the last time we played this match it was a batty 4-4 draw. I don’t think my nerves could take another one of those.

Villarreal

“ There is no better scenario to recreate La Liga B than an empty stadium with no fans in the stand .” -El Zico Groguet, Yesterday

Sofian Chakla is probably gonna start this match. Emotionally prepare yourself for this. Last time he played, it was not good. Some of the more fair-minded and optimistic fans in our comment section yesterday made the completely reasonable point that one game is not a fair way to evaluate a player’s ability. If you want to be all rational about it, that’s fine, but I’m prepared to be hurt.

It’s worth noting that Trigueros and Gerard are each one yellow from a suspension. We’re getting deep enough into the series of games here one after another that the lineups may start getting weird. Zambo’s played 180 minutes since we got back, I assume he’ll get some kind of a break. Santi only played 45 minutes last game so I think we’ll see an hour from him? Chukwueze was great last game but he was totally gassed a the end, maybe he comes on at the hour?

Folks, I just don’t know. I have no clue what Calleja’s gonna do. I don’t even know what he’s gonna do when I feel like I know what he should do. I’m lost now.

Predictions

If you told me it was gonna end 4-4 again, I’d probably shrug and tell you that made sense. After how bad we played against Mallorca, I’m really low on confidence for this one, I think we lose 2-1.