Behind Enemy Lines: Villarreal CF

Villarreal have a strong academy system, consistently make good moves on the transfer market, and usually choose coaches that fit the squad and overall club philosophy.

Emery—despite his previous struggles at PSG and Arsenal—could be the right person to take a squad of Villarreal’s talent into a successful Copa del Rey or Europa League run.

Meanwhile, captain Mario Gaspar is experiencing a renaissance of sorts with Emery and has become one of his side’s most prolific chance creators this season, with extremely aggressive runs behind opposition defenses.

This match is heavily conditioned by the absences on Real’s side due to injuries and corona: Ramos, Militão, Casemiro, Valverde, Benzema, Jović.

Villarreal are built to break opposition pressing lines through passing and in the absence of Casemiro and Valverde, Real will struggle to react and win back the ball when this happens.

Villarreal likes to break down opponents by having their fullback, midfielder, and forward form triangles and quickly exchange passes with each other to open up spaces in the opposition block.

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