Villarreal vs Granada predictions and match preview for Monday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as the Yellow Submarine return home following European glory last May.
|Monday 16th August 2021
|20:00 (local time)
|Estadio de la Cerámica
Villarreal vs Granada Preview
Villarreal are back from the UEFA Super Cup and they kick off their domestic season against Granada on Monday at the Ceramica. The visitors are under new management following the departure of Diego Martinez and hoping that they can continue to build on the foundations he laid.
Clearly, the hosts will be the favourites for this one, and they will be motivated to try and get a bit closer to the top four this season. Unai Emery did, what Unai Emery does, by transforming Villarreal into a strong Europa League side and they went all the way to lift their first ever major trophy in Gdansk in May. They nearly got their hands on fresh silverware last week, taking European champions Chelsea to penalties in the Super Cup, but this time they were defeated by the English club in the shootout.
They’ve had a decent rest since then to recover and Villarreal may gain a slight advantage from having got some competitive action under their belts before this game. However the absence of a couple of key players does leave them slightly more vulnerable here and they’ll be largely reliant on Gerard Moreno again to be the focal point of their attack, with summer signing Boulaye Dia potentially starting alongside him.
As for Granada, it has been a real summer of change and not one they really would have wanted. Diego Martinez opted not to renew his contract so leaves the club having done a terrific job in guiding them back to the Primera and then into Europe. He has been followed out the door by some key players including goalkeeper Rui Silva and striker Roberto Soldado while midfielder Yangel Herrera is back at Manchester City having impressed in Granada colours across the last two seasons.
Those are some significant losses and you sense new boss Robert Moreno has quite a tough job on his hands. Replicating successive top half finishes will be very tough indeed but there are still some players of genuine quality in a squad that has been bolstered by the arrivals of Carlos Bacca, Luis Abram and Monchu on free transfers.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 3 Villarreal Wins, 3 Granada Wins.
- Villarreal were 3-0 winners at Los Carmenes in the most recent meeting in April.
- They are unbeaten in 10 games against Granada overall.
- The last two meetings at the Ceramica have produced entertaining 2-2 and 4-4 draws.
Pau Torres has been given two weeks of holiday having played in two tournaments this summer. With transfer links swirling, it’s possible he may have played his last game for the club. Dani Parejo and Samu Chukwueze are also significant injury absentees for this game.
Neyder Lozano is missing through injury for the visitors. Yan Eteki is rated doubtful.
Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:
Asenjo – Pedraza, Mandi, Albiol, Foyth – Gomez, Trigueros, Capoue – Pino, Dia, Gerard (4-3-3)
Predicted Granada Starting Lineup:
Esandell – Neva, Sanchez, Duarte, Foulquier – Milla, Gonalons, Montoro – Machis, Suarez, Puertas (4-3-3)
Villarreal vs Granada Predictions
Score Prediction: Villarreal 1-1 Granada
Villarreal’s 2020/21 league season was plagued by far too many draws and with key players missing, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they were brought back down to Earth after their European exploits here. It’ll be intriguing to see how Granada shape up under Robert Moreno. There’s a danger things could unravel after the fine work of Diego Martinez but they are a pretty experienced team at this level now and they could get something from this game.
Fantasy Football Picks
- Fanteam – Luis Suarez
The other Luis Suarez is one to watch this season. His first year in the top flight with Granada showcased his potential but was interrupted by a lengthy absence due to a hamstring injury in the second half of the season. Back fully fit and seemingly set to be Granada’s first choice striker following the departure of Roberto Soldado, he could easily reach double figures for goals in 2021/22.