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Villarreal at Valladolid: La Liga Preview

Unai Emery faces a big match against a desperate side.

Villarreal CF v RC Celta - La Liga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

After one of the most bizarre football matches I’ve ever seen against Celta, Unai Emery and his men face a Valladolid side that is absolutely desperate for points as they try to stay afloat. There are three matches left this season and this one is far and away the most winnable.

Our Opponents

For Valladolid, things are really rather simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy. They face us, then away to Real Sociedad, and home Atletico Madrid in their remaining three fixtures. They are currently one point above each of Huesca and Elche, and two points above Eibar. They either need a win or probably need to scrape together at least two draws to the rest of the way to stay in La Liga, and they are going to think their best chance to do that is at home against us.

This won’t be about talent or tactics, it will be about whether we want to win as bad as they do.


After the chaos of the Celta match, Mario Gaspar is suspended for two matches, meaning Ruben Pena is going to have to start here and against Sevilla, there are just no other options at RB. Surely Emery has to play first choice as much as possible everywhere else, because this is our very best chance to get three points in the remainder of the season.

The last time we won at Real Valladolid was in 2010, and we’ve faced them ten other times since then. We lost our last road match, and haven’t lost two away matches in a row since March 2020. Let’s hope that the first of those streaks end and the second one continues.


I idiotically predicted a win against Celta and it burned me. Nevertheless, I’m gonna go in again here and predict a 1-0.