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Villarreal vs Valencia: La Liga Preview

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Big big big derby.

Villarreal CF v Sevilla FC - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Derbi week. Plenty of rest leading in to it, a couple players out from suspension, coming in on good form, Europe on the line, no excuses.

Our opponents

We know all about them. It’s the rivals from just down the road. The ones who hilariously lost to Eibar in their last time out and have a negative goal differential after 31 matches.

Unfortunately... we are still only two points ahead of this lot and they beat us at Mestalla last time we faced them. The circumstances of this season restart are going to rob us of a proper home field advantage, but we have more rest and we’ll have to make due with what we have. They have Garay, Coquelin, and possibly Diakhaby out with injuries. Mangala is suspended. Expect to see Hugo Guillamon, 20 years old, in the center of defense. I’m not gonna mince words with you, the kid’s good. I would rather have seen Mangala out there.

Villarreal

Trigueros and Alberto Moreno are both suspended for this match. Alberto has been pretty reckless in his tackles since matches have restarted so that might actually be a blessing in disguise, but not having Trigueros is going to hurt.

If we stay in the 442, I expect it to look like:

We might need Iborra and Zambo to run the full 90, expect the normal Moi for Santi at the hour mark and probably a Bacca appearance at some point. I’d like to see Ruben Pena start this one but I doubt it, though it wouldn’t shock me if he came on in the second half, especially if we need a goal.

Predictions

I’m normally pretty pessimistic in these things, but screw Valencia. 2-1 Villarreal win. Endavant.