Unusually, Villarreal will open at home against Real Betis. We hit the ground running, actually, as our next home match is against defending champions Barcelona. So getting off to a quick start at home would be a good idea!
As far as Europa League action is concerned, our first match in late September is between matches against Almeria and Rayo, which doesn’t sound too daunting; neither does the second group stage match October 5, between Getafe (away) and Las Palmas (home), and the third one is between Alaves (home) and Granada (away) October 26. Can’t ask for more than that.
It would, however, behoove Villarreal to pick up wins in each of those first three matches, because the last three are between Athletic Club (home) and Atleti (away), Osasuna (home) and Sevilla (away), and Real Sociedad (home) and Real Madrid (away).
March promises to be a difficult month with the Europa league round of 16 (hopefully) sandwiched around Betis (away), Valencia (home) and Atleti (home).
Generally, Villarreal tends to play pretty well in the last month or so of the season, so having matches against Sevilla and Real Madrid, both at home, should be good for us. Of course, as we saw last season, winning against the bottom clubs is worth the same three points as winning against the top teams, and we did the second, not the first.