Tag Archive | "Villarreal"

Malaga vs. Villarreal CF Predictions, Tips, & Picks 11/28/11

One of the top teams on the La Liga table, Malaga is going to have its work cut out for it on Monday at home when it takes on Villarreal CF.

Malaga has gotten just about everything done that it ever could have imagined in the first dozen games of the year. The team has six wins already in its 12 matches, and it has been in quite fine form. Malaga survived two straight road games against Racing Santander and Real Betis, coming up with a solid four points in those games. Now, the team is back at home for the first time this month, off of a 2-1 win over Espanyol right here at this venue on October 30th. Thus far on the campaign at home, Malaga has gotten the maximum points at La Rosaleda, save for a home game against Real Madrid. No one is expecting this team to compete with the top teams in La Liga, and just even remotely thinking about qualifying for European competition next year would be a remarkable accomplishment.

Malaga vs. Villarreal FC Date/Time: Monday, November 28th, 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Malaga vs. Villarreal FC Television Coverage: ESPN3.com

Ruud van Nistelrooy could have a huge impact on this team by the time the season is said and done with, but the man that is really coming up with the big plays offensively is Santi Cazorla. He has four goals and an assist this year to lead the way for the team.

If you take out that game against Madrid, the defense for Malaga has been remarkable as well, holding teams to just a total of 11 goals in 11 matches.

It has been a frustrating season to say the least for Villarreal. The team was fortunate enough to make it into the Champions League, but its stay there has been a short one. Through five fixtures, the Spanish side has been left without a single point, and that being said, it won’t even get the chance to play in the Europa League.

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Things haven’t been much better domestically either. The squad has a -7 goal differential through 12 matches, though we do have to admit that games against Barcelona and Real Madrid have ended with losses of 5-0 and 3-0 on the road. Villarreal has picked up seven points from its last three matches though, which has to at least give a tad bit of hope that perhaps a turnaround can come and get this team away from the bottom of the table.

Villarreal won 3-2 in this fixture a season ago on the road, and the last time that Malaga won a match in this rivalry was at the end of the 2008-09 season, a 2-0 win at home.

Malaga is the comfortable odds on favorite to take all three points from this match. La Liga predictions will be made in this one based upon a -140 line in favorite of the hosts.

Posted in Featured, La Liga (Spain)

Villarreal vs. Manchester City Preview, Picks, Tips, & Analysis 11/2/11

We always knew that Group A was going to be one of the toughest groups in the Champions League group stage schedule this year. However, we didn’t know just how difficult this group was really going to be. On Wednesday, we might be facing a bit of a de facto elimination battle between Villarreal and Manchester City, as these two teams are trying to get out of the gutter in Group A.

For Man City, a 1-1-1 start to the Champions League slate was unimaginable. The team has been just so insanely efficient in the Premier League, it isn’t even funny. It went on the road and absolutely thrashed Manchester United at Old Trafford, a feat that is never easily accomplished, and it has scored 36 goals in 10 fixtures in domestically as well. The Citizens are 9-1-0 and have a +28 goal differential, and they really are off to one of the best starts that a team has ever had in this league.

It’s clear that there are just riches and riches of talent on this team. Sergio Aguero has nine goals this year, as does Edin Dzeko. Mario Balotelli has five strikes, while David Silva has three. That doesn’t even include the power of Carlos Tevez, whose antics have seen him essentially jettisoned from the squad. Perhaps getting the Tevez drama over and done with after losing at Bayern Munich earlier in the Champions League will be just what the doctor has ordered for the Citizens if they hope to get out of Group A this year.

It’s tough to say that Villarreal really needs to get three points out of this fixture, but that unfortunately, really is the case. The team is in the gutter, and it is going to be a decided underdog in this fixture, and without any real freebee matches to come, the team can’t afford to sit here at the bottom for very long.

The truth of the matter is that the faster this team gets out of European competitions, the quicker that it can focus on La Liga. This year has been a certified disaster for the Spanish side, going 2-4-4 in its first 10 matches. Before Saturday’s win against Rayo at home, the team had lost back to back matches by 3-0 counts.

In the second of those matches against Real Madrid, the team’s top striker, Giuseppe Rossi was knocked out with an ACL injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the year. He certainly won’t be around in this match and likely will not be on the bench for support either. Without Rossi, who already has three goals domestically this year and netted two just to get the team into the Champions League this year, there is a real void that Villarreal just will not be able to fill.

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These two teams met on October 18th on English soil, a match that nearly ended in disaster for the hosts. They were behind 1-0 just four minutes in, and it took an Aguero goal in the 90th minute just to pick up the three points in that crucial tie.

Villarreal doesn’t have a point yet in the Champions League, and a loss parlayed with a win for Napoli over Bayern Munich ensures that its European campaign is finished. Even a win will still keep it in last place, though at least qualification is fathomable at that point.

For Man City, a win will most likely boost it back into the qualifying territory for the UCL knockout rounds. It is currently one point back of Napoli and three behind Bayern Munich. Goal differential could be key as well, as the Citizens are currently at a -1, and even a one goal victory could still leave them on some tenuous ground going forward for the rest of this competition.

Posted in Champions League (UCL), Featured


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