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Villarreal at Tenerife: Copa Del Rey Gamethread

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Unai Emery’s side looks to advance in the Copa!

Villarreal CF v Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC: Group I - UEFA Europa League Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

As Allen mentioned in the comments of our preview, we’ve never won at Tenerife, but there’s a first time for everything. Top flight sides have had an absolute horror of a Copa del Rey so far. At time of writing Cadiz, Alaves, Getafe, Atleti, and Celta had all been knocked out, many of them by multiple goal differences, and other clubs such as Valladolid and Valencia had really close scrapes. There is every reason to be on high alert in this one.

Emery gave some indication that we would see a rather strong lineup in this one. There was also indication that Paco Alcacer could make his long awaited return from injury here, but he’s not included in the matchday squad.

Estupinan continues to be the cup selection at left back, we also get Trigueros in the lineup, but other than that, this side is still more heavily rotated that what I anticipated considering Emery’s pre match remarks. With five subs at his disposal, expect in some respects for us to end the match with a stronger XI than we begin it with.

Here’s the Tenerife XI:

All of this will be done with an eye towards Granada coming up in La Liga. It’s one thing to balance Europa League group stage matches with league appearances in the fall, but we are well into the business end of the season now and the single elimination nature of the Copa plus the tight race for top four makes every single match here crucial. It will take all of Unai Emery’s abilities to balance this one out. Here’s hoping for a Villarreal victory. Endavant!