In the reverse fixture of this season series, we had 77% possession, only created 7 shots, and the whole thing ended 0-0. Gerard didn’t play and Take Kubo started on the right wing. We were also missing Dani Parejo. This time, of course, we’ll be without Vincente Iborra as well as Pau Torres, and Etienne Capoue is suspended. On the whole, I don’t know if we’ll be able to field a better XI than the first time, but just having Gerard on the pitch opens up the possibility for something special that just doesn’t exist without him.
After a bright start to the year, Cadiz is in pretty good shape to stay up but on the whole aren’t anything special. They have only scored 23 goals this year while giving up 42. That number kinda makes it even more irritating that we didn’t score last time we faced them. Curiously enough, we’ve drawn them every single time we’ve ever faced them in La Liga, 3/3. The only team we’ve faced more often and drawn them every time is Huesca, who we are 4/4 with... I hate draws. Outside of La Liga we’ve fared much better against them, beating them 7 times and only losing once.
Their leading goalscorer is the apparently ageless Alvaro Negredo, who at 35 years and 212 days old still has seven goals and three assists on the year.
Cadiz has failed to win their last 9 La Liga road matches, their worst such streak since 1993. They’ve also drawn two matches in a row and haven’t drawn three in a row since 1992 (wonder what that’s like).
We haven’t lost three straight home matches in La Liga since 1999 so Unai and crew better come to play to avoid being in pretty sorry company. Playing two competitions back to back leaves you with a weird feeling about how the team is doing. On one hand, we’ve won three straight, but those three wins came in the space of 7 days so it doesn’t really feel like we’re on the same sort of good run that three wins over three weeks in the league would be.
That said, Dynamo, who we beat twice in the last week and a half or so, probably has more top end talent than Cadiz does (though I think Dynamo’s roster is a lot more like Valencia’s than say the sides competing for Europe in La Liga- quality stars at a few roles and massive holes in other places). If we can play to the level that we’ve shown in Europe, we should walk away with this one with much needed three points. Betis, annoyingly, beat Granada on Friday with relatively late goals, so a win would only allow us to keep pace with them. Other results to keep an eye on this week are Granada vs Valencia (I’d personally like that one to draw), Athletic Club vs Eibar (Eibar needs a win desperately), and Celta vs Real Madrid.
If I’d had to guess we’re only likely to see Celta drop points.
I believe in Gerard Moreno. 2-0 win.