Las Palmas vs Villarreal by Jimeno
In one of most interesting matches last weekend, Las Palmas suffered 4:3 defeat away to Espanyol even though the team looked quite competitive and maybe deserved something more. It was a very open minded game from both sides, as the guests looked somehow more solid on the field and looked like more mature side, however thanks to lack of concentration in their defense stood without a point taken.
Espanyol opened the scoreline in first minute already via Lopez, and even though Lemos leveled up the result in 31st minute, they conceded goal just before the halftime whistle via Moreno - probably in worst possible times. Lemos leveled up the result again in 48th, but the hosts sealed the victory with two goals more, via Piatti and penalty kick in 53rd and Jurado twenty minutes later, while Las Palmas were only able to reduce via Garcia in 84th minute. Las Palmas is now at 12th position, having thirteen points more than relegation worried Granada and can continue playing relaxed.
Las Palmas is set to play in quite offensive 4-3-3 formation, using Jese and Tana as wingers, plus Boateng as central striker. Jese is having some thigh problems, but should be ready for the game. Injured are midfielders Javi Castellano (1/0), Angel Montoro (12/0) and right defender Michel Macedo (19/0). Roque Mesa and Marko Livaja are both returning from suspension.
Villarreal, on the other side, comes into this match being in a really good form now, with third consecutive victory in LaLiga and fourth, really good and unlucky performance against Real Madrid when they suffered defeat four matches earlier, as the team pulled out narrow 1:0 victory away to Celta Vigo last week.
Only goal was scored in 45th minute via Soldado, with the players of Villarreal doing much more concrete things in attack, but left the ball possession mostly to Celta since they were satisfied with the lead. The team is now at fifth position, having just four points less than fourth placed Atletico Madrid and the side remains in a must win situation if they are to continue that race, but also being just four points above out of Europa League placed Athletic Bilbao.
Visitors from Villarreal are set to play in their usual 4-4-2 formation, with Soldado and Bakambu as strikers. Nicola Sansone is back after injury, but should be given playing time in attack from the bench. Forward Adrian Lopez (5/0) is doubtful, while offensive midfielder Denis Cheryshev (11/0) should be out for some time already. Defender Jose Angel (5/0) and goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo (24/0) are also injured and out.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Las Palmas's last 3 games (La Liga).
Goals are what I expect from this one. Las Palmas have won just one in last five matches and need to respond here if they are to improve, while Villarreal remains in a must win situation in case they want to continue Champions League positions race. Hosts are playing very open minded and attacking football lately and I don't see this being changed soon.