Villarreal

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Round 6

Villarreal 2 - 1 Valencia
2020-10-18 15:00 More Reports
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Europa League

Round Grp I (1)

2020-10-22 22:00:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2020/2021

Villarreal

In


Francis Coquelin (mid) Valencia; Dani Parejo (mid) Valencia; Takefusa Kubo (mid) Real Madrid; Alfonso Pedraza (def) Real Betis – end of loan; Jaume Costa (def) Valencia – end of loan

Out


Bruno Soriano (sp) (mid) Retired; Santi Cazorla (k) (mid) Al Sadd; Xavi Quintillà (sp) (def) Norwich – end of loan; Andrés Fernández (sp) (gk) Huesca; André Zambo Anguissa (r) (mid) Fulham – end of loan

Villarreal were one of the teams who seemed to benefit the most from the coronavirus pause last season, as they returned so strong after the restart. They shot up the table and ended up finishing fifth. Even with that success, coach Javi Calleja was replaced by Unai Emery. This immediately looks like an upgrade, while they’ve upgraded the squad too with the high-profile additions of Dani Parejo, Francis Coquelin and Takefusa Kubo. The Parejo and Coquelin additions could be extra impactful because they formed Valencia’s central midfield together last season, so they already know how to play with each other. The strengths of this Villarreal team are in attack, where they have depth and where they have several versatile players, and at centre-back, where Raul Albiol and Pau Torres have built a formidable partnership. There aren’t many weaknesses, but left-back is an area of concern as last season’s starter Alberto Moreno has suffered an ACL injury in pre-season and will miss most of this campaign. Villarreal do have left-back options in Alfonso Pedraza and Jaume Costa, who have both just returned from loans, but this still isn’t a great situation.

Target


Champions League qualification and cup success. Having finished fifth last season, Villarreal will hope they can go one better and qualify for the Champions League this year. They’ll also hope to do well in cup competitions as they seek a first major trophy in the club’s history, believing that they have the squad to get it this year.

Season Review
2019/2020

№5: Villarreal

Villarreal are one of the teams who seemed to benefit the most from this season’s coronavirus three-month break. They had never been higher than seventh before it, but were excellent after the restart and ultimately finished fifth. Villarreal put together an excellent squad, one which really should be finishing around fifth place. So, there was pressure on coach Javi Calleja when they had their inconsistent start. A Copa del Rey exit in the quarters against second tier side Mirandes upped that pressure further. Yet, Calleja stayed on and helped guide this team to an excellent restart, as they won five of their first six games after returning. That propelled them into the European spots and it was mission accomplished by the end of the campaign. Even so, Villarreal took the decision to sack Calleja the day after the season. He’d achieved par for the course, but left too many doubts and they’re now looking to bring in a big name coach. Besides the summer coaching search, Villarreal will also have to improve squad depth for next season since they’re back in European competition. They benefited from having free midweeks this year and need better depth, plus they’ll have to replace some of those who are set to leave. The good news is that Raul Albiol and Pau Torres are set to stay and to continue the excellent central defensive partnership they struck up this campaign. The future could be bright for Villarreal. It just depends on how well they complete their summer assignments.


Player of the Season: Raul Albiol

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