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Villareal at Espanyol: La Liga Preview

Unai Emery’s men are looking for their first win of the season.

Villarreal CF v Granada CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Astoundingly, we have, to my knowledge, outspent every single other team in La Liga this offseason. This has been made possible mostly by the depressed (and depressing) nature of so many La Liga club finances, but also by the fact that Villarreal was incredibly responsible before the pandemic meaning they could weather the storm better than most. This led to getting the players last year that we needed to win the UEL and secure Champions League football and the rest is history. Now we head to Barcelona to face the most financially successful team in the entire city: RCD Espanyol.

Our Opponents

We’ll see two familiar faces with Espanyol, in warmups anyway. Manu Morlanes and Miguelon are both there, though neither is particularly likely to start. Miguelon in particular has a mess on his hands with their current depth at right back.

Raul de Tomas and Dimata are probably their most dangerous players. According to the Espanyol socio I spoke to this week, if they come out in a 4231 we’re probably better off than if they are playing 442.

Villarreal

Pau Torres is still getting a much deserved rest, and I hope he continues to get one, despite how badly I want to see him on the pitch. Rumor has it that the prick who currently runs the Spanish national team is going to pick him for the September World Cup qualifiers, because what does he care about player health and well-being?

Danjuma also probably won’t start this one. Emery is too particular about what he wants from players to toss someone in on such little notice. In a lot of ways we are in kind of a holding pattern until we get healthy.

Prediction

We played really, really good football in the opener in the early phases, and I’m encouraged that we can do that despite missing so many key pieces. I don’t think we’ll go two weeks without scoring even if I also don’t think we’ll be anywhere near full speed, but I predict a 1-0 win.