By all reasonable accounts, the first half of our season was very good but also certainly could have been better. One of the ways we are hoping the second half of the season goes better than the first is by getting all three points against Huesca instead of settling for a draw. Unfortunately, our injury situation is going to make that particularly difficult, and to add to it Unai Emery made some curious decisions in today’s starting XI.
Paco Alcacer is of course still battling back from injury, so him not starting is a reasonable precaution. It is interesting, however, to see Carlos Bacca take over for Fer Nino at the 9. Does he consider the Copa match against Girona more important, and thus is saving his young striker for that? Not entirely sure, but I personally don’t think Bacca is a better striker than Fer at this point, or at least he’s not in better form.
The other head scratcher is of course Ramiro Funes Mori, a defender that always makes me very nervous. I’m wondering if Foyth picked up an injury because he’s not even in the 18. I’m expecting the sort of 352/433 hybrid we saw against Granada. Turnovers from bad positions cost us both goals last match, and so I think if we can be more secure in possession the system will work fine.
Our opponents also seem to be going three in the back:
I do wish Villarreal would post their lineups in this sort of format so we wouldn’t have to play ‘guess the formation’.
Let us know in the comments what you think!