Well. It’s been a crazy couple of days, the football world has exploded and the result has been... oh yeah, the result has been we are right back where we started. Only difference now is that corrupt UEFA is more powerful than ever, and folks like Javier Tebas and Luis Rubiales have been sportswashed. I’ve seen all sorts of folks claim they ‘saved football’ in the last 24 hours. But what did they save? We’re still just as broken as we were a week ago, and because a few stupid selfish clubs decided to challenge UEFA in the dumbest way possible, no one will have the nerve or ability to challenge UEFA again for a long, long time.
It is in that backdrop that Villarreal play a really important match. With Arsenal looming at next midweek, Emery is probably going to try to steal some rest for his players who sorely need it against Barcelona. That makes three points here absolutely crucial.
By the time we kick off, we’ll know what Real Betis has done. They have a difficult match against an Athletic Bilbao side that is still reeling from two Copa Del Rey final losses in a month. If they lose and we win, that would give us a four point cushion that I imagine will be extremely important given the brutality of our remaining league schedule (Barca, Madrid, and Sevilla all still on the docket). I’d really love to finish fifth AND win the Europa League, but it’s rather imperative that we at least do one or the other, else we’ll find ourselves in the ‘UEFA Conference’ next season.
One special thing I do want to note. It was in this fixture last season that Fer Nino came on in his debut and scored a winning goal. That was probably a top 2 or 3 moment for me last season. Absolutely incredible stuff.
Very strong lineup here. Emery looks to be trying to secure the three points before resting people against Barca.
I honestly didn’t bother to watch a one minute video to see who they are starting. If you don’t wanna bother either, my app says: Pacheco, Navarro, Laguardia, Lejuene, Aguirregabiria, Jota, Andres Battaglia, Tomas Pina, Luis Rioja, Joselu, Lucas Perez.
Manager of course is Javi Calleja, who we know VERY well.
Hit us in the comments with your reactions to the match.