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Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid: La Liga Gamethread

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Both sides would prefer a win as Unai Emery faces off with Diego Simeone

Villarreal CF v RB Salzburg - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

I’m going to jump straight into the lineups this time around. Paco Alcacer has ‘muscle overload’ and won’t be able to play in this one, continuing an absurdly injury plagued season for the striker. That makes the likelihood of this match ending goalless increase significantly. Here’s the starting XI:

Samu Chukwueze gets his first start in what feels like forever, and while this should create a very different look for our offense than what Atletico probably expected, it also raises serious questions about the defense on our right flank. Juan Foyth looks like he will be starting out as the right back and I just do not have any idea how that’s going to work. i would have greatly preferred Jaume Costa, but on the older player the quick turnaround from Thursday to now may have been a bit too much. It’s interesting to me that Emery stuck with Pedraza. The defender just wasn’t very good against Salzburg and to the contrary Estupinan had an excellent match, but Emery does as he wants.

Lemar and Hermoso will be the Atleti response to our Samu/Foyth flank, and the result of this match may well come down to what happens in that tilt. I think it’s very interesting that we have Llorente out wide and Felix coming off the bench. We need to prepare ourselves for the second half sub swarm. Kondogbia, Lodi, Felix, and Dembele can all come on, play at a very high level, and also give their team a very different look. Adjustments throughout the match will be crucial.

Thoughts?

Hit us up in the comments with what you think about the starting XI and how you think we’re doing as the game goes on.