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Villarreal vs Celta Vigo: La Liga Preview

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Unai Emery’s men try to focus on the league before their big Europa League final.

Arsenal v Villareal CF - UEFA Europa League Semi Final: Leg Two Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

I’m still not over Thursday night. The photo I selected for this article, Pau embracing Sr. Roig... that is so moving to me, that’s football right there. Two men who love the same club, a club that now is on the cusp of something glorious. Nevertheless, there’s still work to be done in the league, and it all starts at home against Celta Vigo.

Our opponents

We obliterated Celta the last time we played them, and in some ways I think that lays a trap for us here, because it would be very easy to take this win for granted and we just can’t do that. Celta is beat up, and they are mid table with no fear of relegation and no real hope of Europe. I don’t know how motivated they’ll be, but we just can’t take them for granted because we need these three points.

Villarreal

How do you follow up making a final? Samu and Foyth will both certainly be missing, but we’ll have a rested Etienne Capoue and that should help tremendously. Full credit while we’re here, by the way, to Francis Coquelin who had an outstanding second leg. Asenjo will be back in goal, and there will be a lot of talk over the next three weeks about whether he should start in goal for the final. I’ll write something up on that next week.

Will Emery rotate many of the other players? I have yet to accurately predict how he’s gonna handle rotation since the knockouts started. If it were up to me, I’d try to make sure I got six points out of Celta and Valladolid and hang on for dear life the last couple of matches against Sevilla and Real Madrid, just making sure our guys were not overworked and that they were healthy.

Prediction

Even rotated, I think we’re good enough to beat Celta so I’m gonna go with 2-0 Villarreal.