We may have finished fifth last season and we may end up there again this year but the feel of things is entirely different. On January 8th last season we were in 9th place, seven points adrift of 4th. This year we sit in 5th, one point behind Champions League places, and have more points in 17 matches than we had in 19.
Much of this is down to the work of Unai Emery, constructing a side that is hard to beat, even when they don’t play well. Javi Calleja’s counter attacking mid press had its days where everything clicked, and others where we were destroyed in the back. Things have been much more solid and reliable this campaign.
The opponent today is Celta Vigo. They are missing their best player and have dropped two straight between the league and the cup, but they are nonetheless worthy of their 8th spot in the table, having been a different side since Eduardo Coudet came aboard. This is not a team to take lightly (though, at this point in the season, competition we can brush aside is pretty much all behind us). What happens in the next few weeks will determine how this season will be remembered, and it all starts here.
I have an appointment at 2:00pm my time, the match starts at 3:00pm my time, which means I am unlikely go be able to get back in here and drop lineups. I’m hoping I can knock off early and catch a good portion of the match, but you never know with these things. Keep me filled in down below in the comments and Endavant Villarreal!