Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Recent Developments

Two wins in a row!

First of all, a spectacular Liga victory over Sevilla - I'll need to dig out the YouTube clips of that game, which was full of awesome finishing and terrible defending.

Now, a deserved 1-0 win over Mallorca. All we need is a clean sheet in Palma and then it's another Copa del Rey semi!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Oh Dear

Liga form: Poor
Uche: With Nigeria
Cup form: Good
Levante: Done for
Consolation: Scant.

The less said about the last two Liga games, the better, but without Uche, there may be more repeats to come.

Still, Levante - exhausted from their pseudo-heroic loss to Real Madrid at the weekend (sounds familiar, doesn't it?) will hopefully get a good riding tonight to get the spirits up.

Osky will be in goal as Pato is both being rested and hopefully receiving extra coaching of some description after a series of recent errors. Signorino may make a cameo, as might Tena. The midfield's fairly regular-looking, and up front is the usual motley crew. Maybe Kepa can get his confidence back, I don't know.

In any case, expect a four-figure crowd and little worth shouting about. Excelsior!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Squad For Valladolid Game

Goalkeepers: 1. Ustari; 13. Pato.

Defenders: 2. Contra; 3. Cata Díaz; 4. Belenguer; 12. Licht; 21. D. Cortés; 23. Tena.

Midfielders: 6.Celestini; 7. Mario Cotelo; 8. Gavilán; 20. Pallardó; 24. Pablo Hernández; 25. Granero.

Attackers: 9. Braulio; 14. Manu; 16. Albín; 18. Uche.

It all looks fairly regular, except for the absences of Ruben de la Red and Javier Casquero. The former's suspended and the latter is ill, so the midfield pairing will probably include Pallardo and Granero.

That would allow Gavilan to play out on the left, where Granero has been deputising, and make for a balanced middle pairing.

Above all, Uche is back for his first Liga game since... umm, I forget, but either way the Pucela are in for a humping.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Getafe 4- 1 Burgos

2,500 hardy souls bothered their arses to watch this one - those who skipped it will rue missing Ikechukwu Uche's injury comeback. Our favourite Nigerian scored twice as Geta easily brushed aside Burgos in this second-leg tie.

The first encounter between the sides ended 1-0 to the good guys, and a similar scoreline seemed to be on the cards after an unspeakably dull opening period.*

Still, Uche grabbed one just before the break, before Ruben de la Red made it 2-0 just after half-time.

Uche then got his second from the spot after Andres committed a foul in the box, before a fellow called Nacho Garrido scored a penalty conceded by a man unknown. Still, Jaime Gavilan restored the three-goal advantage on his "debut" - he's back at the club for a second loan spell from drama factory Valencia - with a fourth.

One interesting factor of this game - encouraging scoreline aside - is that Pato was in goal. The talk of Oscar Ustari being moved on seems to be growing louder than ever; normally, he'd be a stick-on to play in a game like this, having played in the first leg.

Anyway, the Liga resumes this weekend as Getafe take on Valladolid.

*I'm going off Marca's live commentary here - understandably, the wise men who run Spanish television were not falling over themselves to broadcast this one, meaning no online stream.