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Villarreal at Elche: La Liga Preview

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Unai Emery’s men look to get their season back on track.

Villarreal v Eibar - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

I don’t mean to be dramatic... but if we don’t win this match I might give up on the season. We drew against Elche on December the 6th in an awful 0-0 where neither team accumulated even 1.0 xG, in a match where Paco came on at halftime then got hurt again. Elche is just awful, no disrespect intended to them. It’s about flippin time we showed a little life out there and beat somebody.

Our Opponents

Elche have scored the fewest goals in the league. They are more like mid table in terms of goals conceded, and frankly what they want is an ugly, boring draw. Exactly what they suckered us into last time. On average for the season they lose the xG battle by 1.0 per 90, worst in La Liga. They may have one more point than Huesca but for me this is the worst side in all of La Liga.

Villarreal

We have had a terrible time breaking down low blocks all season, and we’ll see another one this week. If we happen to nick an early goal, maybe this thing will open up a little bit and we can have some free flowing football as Elche chase the game, but otherwise we are going to have to settle in and grind this one out. Keep an eye in this match on our midfield and how long they sit on the ball while making their passes. We need quick switches of play in this one to break down a block.

I’m not even going to try to predict a starting lineup. With all the injuries and the fact that six guys just played 120 minutes against Levante, Emery could do just about anything. Frankly, a rotated team of ours has the talent to beat Elche, we just have to show up and play like it.

Prediction

I don’t have a good feeling. I want to have a good feeling, and I don’t know if how I feel is all about Villarreal football or if its just life in a pandemic starting to really settle in over me in a fog, but I just have no optimism about his game whatsoever. Nonetheless, I can’t stomach predicting a 0-0 draw so here’s 2-0 to Villarreal and hoping I’m right.