Carrying around a game in hand is all good and fine, it gives you weeks where you can say “well yeah, we’re x number of points behind but we have a game in hand” with some level of assurance. You might even have more assurance about your game in hand when it’s against Alaves who are 18th in the table. However, we all know Villarreal is a roller coaster to support and now we have to make good on that game in hand by taking all three points at home.
Alaves have struggled mightily this season, but as we know their manager knows us better than almost anyone else we’ll face and they did beat us last time they played us. The fixture of Alaves at Villarreal has been played 10 times and it has never, ever been a draw. They’ve recently lost to Rayo and been knocked out of the Copa Del Rey by Linares Deportivo. Their last La Liga win was against Levante in November, but they’ve also drawn both Barcelona and Sevilla this season which is more than we can say for ourselves.
Joselu has 8 goals this season, which represents two-thirds of their total in La Liga.
Will Danjuma be able to go after his ankle discomfort? Will Samu get a start after scoring against Real Sociedad? I think these questions should be related to each other and they will likely contribute to how much we suffer to get this one. I don’t really see us rotating at all because this is our last match until January. We should be as full strength as possible, and hey, maybe Unai will even play fewer than three fullbacks for once.
We’re better than this team and we’ll have Gerard. I think we win 2-0.