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Villarreal vs Real Sociedad: La Liga Preview

A massive battle in the top four race in La Liga

SD Huesca v Villarreal CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

I’m annoyed. The first time we played La Real this season, we were missing Paco Alcacer and Moi Gomez, this time we are missing Gerard Moreno, I’d love to catch these guys fully healthy just once because I’m very confident we are a better team than them. But that’s not football. In fairness, we haven’t had to face them fully fit either.

Our Opponents

Real Sociedad’s early season title challenge has cooled off significantly and I for one am not the least bit surprised. Despite those who follow La Real closely assuring me that they had all kinds of depth in the team, as the season as ground on they have failed to find innovative ways to get wins when players are missing and have sunk to sixth, five points below 4th place.

A big part of this slip has been the absence of David Silva, who has been out for a month and a half with a hamstring problem. The 35 year old has missed 10 matches in that time and the results have suffered as a result. Real Sociedad definitely have other (very) good players, but I think the Basque club missed a trick in seeing Martin Ødegaard go to Arsenal instead of returning to them, because their offense needs a helmsman.

Villarreal

Our own absentee list is long and distinguished. Talk of a new right sided player hasn’t fully materialized yet so we are left patching holes as we can. Emery has been a little quirky lately trying to make it all work but here’s my best guess as to what our lineup will be:

Asenjo

Pena-Albiol-Pau-Pedraza

Trigueros-Parejo-Capoue-Moi

Paco-Bacca

Yep, it’s a 442 for me, very similar idea to what we stymied Real Sociedad with last time.. Who knows that the man in charge will actually bring us though.

Prediction

As disgusted as I am to say it, I’m feeling a draw. I know after our recent string of results we all ache for a league win, but I just see both manager trying to keep this one cagey. Maybe Paco returns to his early season form and bags one, but otherwise it’s 0-0.

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Copa Del Rey thoughts:

Someone truly dedicated (read- someone who had more time than I do today) would give the Copa Del Rey draw with Levante it’s own article. My thoughts on that draw basically boil down to this: We are better than Levante and should win, but we are often knocked out of this competition by lesser foes, so we can’t take them for granted.