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Villarreal vs Dinamo Zagreb: Europa League Gamethread

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Unai Emery’s men have one job: Advance.

Villarreal CF v C.A. Osasuna - La Liga Santander Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Keep a clean sheet: advance. Tie with any number of goals: advance. Play the ugliest football match in the history of the sport and avoid losing: advance. Things are remarkably simple today. Simple, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean easy, and Dinamo Zagreb will certainly not go down without a fight.

I’ll be at a funeral starting about an hour before match time, so if one of you wonderful people (or heck, even one of you who isn’t wonderful) could drop the lineups in the comments I’d appreciate it.

If Emery does what I think he’ll do today, then the only two guys who got no rest against Osasuna that will start today are Parejo. Moi, and Mario. The fact that two of those guys are over 30 and that Parejo has over 3200 minutes in all competitions this year is rather concerning to me. It just feels like a problem we keep punting down the road to deal with later, and it may come back to bite us at the worst possible time. Nevertheless, many of our key contributors had their legs spared some minutes on the weekend, and hopefully that will pay dividends today.

This, ultimately, is why we brought in Unai Emery. It wasn’t to reach a certain position in La Liga, it had nothing to do with the Copa del Rey, the man was hired to win the Europa League and give us a trophy, and anything short of advancing today would make his first season a failure by all accounts.