MX23RW : Thursday, June 17 09:10:11| >> :600:174471:174471:
Sep 13, 2020 at 5.30pm UK at Estadio de la Cerámica
Moreno (68' pen.)
Pedraza (36')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Maffeo (42')
Mosquera (88')

Preview: Villarreal vs. Huesca - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga fixture between Villarreal and Huesca, including team news and injury news.

Villarreal begin life under recently-appointed boss Unai Emery with a home fixture against newcomers Huesca at Estadio de la Ceramica.

While Villarreal finished last season in fifth place in La Liga, Huesca battled their way to the league title in the Segunda Division.

Match preview

Arsenal manager Unai Emery on October 24, 2019© Reuters

While Unai Emery received criticism for his time at Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal respectively, there is a feeling that linking up with Villarreal has come at the right time.

Although he is under pressure to build on a productive campaign under Javier Calleja, Emery will be confident of eventually emulating the success that he had at Sevilla between 2013 and 2016.

With three home fixtures against lower-league opposition and a trip to troubled Barcelona to come in their opening four fixtures, Villarreal arguably have the ideal start to the campaign.

Nevertheless, failure to make the most of those games would put Emery on the back foot, particularly with a visit to Atletico Madrid also on the horizon.

The departures of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Santi Cazorla are big blows, but Villarreal will be delighted to have welcomed Francis Coquelin, Dani Parejo and Takefusa Kubo to the Yellow Submarine.

In the case of Huesca, they will be hoping to enjoy just their second-ever season in La Liga, rather than repeat their efforts from 2018-19 where they won just seven times.

However, having somehow managed to earn promotion despite suffering 14 defeats from 42 games at the second tier, they should be better prepared for their next experience among Spain's elite.

A considerable portion of their squad is made up of loan players, a group which includes former Wolverhampton Wanderers number nine Rafa Mir.

The main responsibility could fall onto the experienced shoulders of former Leicester City man Shinji Okazaki, who netted 12 times last season.

Villarreal form (pre-season friendlies): WLLWL

Huesca form (pre-season friendlies): DWD

Team News

Alberto Moreno in action for Villarreal on February 23, 2020© Reuters

With Alberto Moreno having suffered an injury this week, Alfonso Pedraza is in line to start at left-back for Villarreal.

Debuts could be handed to Parejo and Kubo, although Coquelin may have to make do with a spot among the replacements.

As a result of Carlos Bacca only being rated as doubtful, Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer should start in attack.

Barring any late fitness issues, central defender Pablo Insua is Huesca's only fitness concern.

Having joined on loan earlier this week, former Manchester City defender Pablo Maffeo could line up at right-back.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Iborra, Parejo, Kubo; Alcacer, Moreno

Huesca possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Maffeo, Pulido, Insua, Luisinho; Rico, Mosquera; Mir, Real, Ferreiro; Okazaki

SM words green background

We say: Villarreal 3-0 Huesca

Although Huesca will be motivated to make an impression on their return to the top flight, we feel that they could be overpowered by their hosts. Emery will be focused on claiming a top-four spot at the end of the season, and it would have been drilled into his squad that they must win games such as this one with minimal fuss.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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