This week we suggested on the site that whenever Danjuma isn’t able to start, Samu starting should be automatic. While I envisioned this in a front two, we do get Samu starting today as a wide player supporting what appears to be Dia and Gerard up top. Chukwueze on the right with Foyth behind him was devastating last season before the Nigerian got hurt, and Emery seems to surmise (rightly, imo) that Alaves is unlikely to be able to offer enough of a threat to pin Samu back in any meaningful way. Here’s the full lineup:
I am happy to see Estupinan continuing to get chances. He’s so talented that I think he still has a bright future ahead of him. There are no rotations going on today from what I can tell, Emery seems fully focused on the three points. We’re either going to get Trigueros out on the left or it’ll be a midfield three with Samu as an inverted winger on the left hand side so keep an eye on that.
The man to watch is Joselu, end of. He’s the only consistently dangerous player they have. Alaves is capable of a result but there is no reason whatsoever why a full strength Villarreal can’t get a win today, and if they break the ice early with a goal maybe even score for fun in the second half.
Javi Calleja can play some beautiful counter attacking football so we’ll want to be careful not to give up those chances, otherwise this one should be plain sailing.