Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Jozy Altidore and Villarreal will try to thwart any hopes of a major upset when they host Segunda B club Polideportivo Ejido in the return leg of the Spanish Copa del Rey's Round of 32.
Altidore has seen the majority of his playing time this season come in the form of Cup and Europa League matches and Wednesday should be no different.
The newly-turned 21 year old US international will be a strong candidate to start up top at striker for head coach Juan Carlos Garrido.
The second leg of this match-up shapes up much differently than the one two years ago when these teams encountered each other in the same competition.
A 5-0 win for Poli over the Yellow Submarine in the first leg gave Villarreal virtually zero chance of advancing and Altidore and company could only muster a 1-1 draw at home as they spiraled out of the tournament.
This time around in the first leg an Altidore goal gave Villarreal a 0-1 lead which they kept until Poli squeaked out an equalizer right before the final whistle.
Wednesday's contest at Estadio El Madrigal will offer Villarreal sweet revenge if they can make easy work of the team from Spain's third level of soccer.
Garrido's men must not fall in the trap of looking beyond Poli to this weekend's colossal tilt against giants FC Barcelona.
However the head man will be fielding a team mostly made up with reserves as he has opted to give rest to regulars Diego López, Joan Capdevila, Ángel López, Carlos Marchena, Bruno Soriano, Nilmar and Borja Valero.
Along with Altidore, New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi figures to start up top at striker and recently recuperated Argentine Marco Ruben should stand to be the first attacking option off the bench.
Also adding to the Villarreal attack is the play of young Jefferson Montero who starred with the club's B team last year and is now starting to make waves with the senior team.
The speedy winger from Ecuador scored in Sunday's win over Athletic Bilbao and will likely figure against Poli.
Villarreal will have a full squad while Poli will be missing Guillermo Ubierna and Manolo Pérez due to injury.