With Mario Gaspar handling media duties yesterday, it looks like he’ll be back on the right side today, and not a moment too soon. Juan Foyth has been fine enough defensively on the right flank but our offense looks totally different when Gerard can tuck inside and hit Mario on an overlap. Hopefully that exchange will net us a goal today.
For my own part, a storm system that has already produced very serious tornados will hit my area right around match time, so I’ll be picking kids up from daycare early and won’t be able to put the actual lineups in. I trust ya’ll to do that for me in the comments. I really feel very calm and confident about today. For the first since... I believe November? we’ve managed 2.0 xG or more in three straight games. In two of those games our defense also held up and produced wins. I expect the same here today.
I’m all for respecting ones opponents, especially in a knockout competition, but realistically we are facing a team that would struggle mightily to stay afloat in the top flight in Spain. That doesn’t necessarily mean but so much as Villarreal has struggled to beat those sorts of teams this year, but conversely those teams have also had trouble beating us so I just am not that worried about us losing by two goals or more. That said, football has a way of making us all fools and catching us off guard. Let’s hope today is not that day.