Villarreal vs Almeria preview - Villarreal and Almeria eye response

Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014 by PA

Villarreal and Almeria both head into Sunday's Primera Division fixture at El Madrigal with a point to prove.

The Andalusians will be looking to produce a better showing than they did last Saturday, when they suffered their heaviest defeat since returning to the top flight, losing 6-1 away to Athletic Bilbao.

In midweek the Yellow Submarine were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by the finest of margins, losing 1-0 on aggregate to Real Sociedad, who exacted revenge on the team that had thrashed them 5-1 only three days earlier.

Jeremy Perbet failed to take advantage of an opportunity to get his side back in the tie with La Real when he missed the target from the penalty spot, and the Frenchman did not hide his disappointment at being eliminated from the tournament, but stressed the team had to move on.

"We have no choice but to focus on the league now and the game with Almeria," he told reporters.

And although 15 points separate the two clubs, who were both promoted from the Segunda Division last year, Perbet insisted he and his team-mates would not get complacent against Francisco Javier Rodriguez's Almeria.

Perbet said: "When you look at it at first glance you might think it's a straightforward game, but we have seen that every team in the league can end up making things difficult for you.

"Of course playing against teams like Almeria, Valladolid and Osasuna is not the same as facing Real Madrid or Barcelona, but you still have to give your all."

While Villarreal will be looking for a win to keep their chase for Champions League football going, Almeria need the points to put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

"There are many teams in the league with few points and whoever thinks they are safe is wrong," said midfielder Verza in an interview with Marca.

Although other results meant the defeat at Bilbao did not lead to Almeria falling back into the drop zone, Verza is still furious with how the team played and is wary of something similar happening on Sunday.

"We didn't manage to show even an ounce of spirit or pride," he said.

"If we don't go out on to the pitch raring to go and don't compete from the kick-off, we'll struggle, as we all saw."

The visitors will be without Nelson, Hans Martinez and top scorer Rodri through injury, while Villarreal's only fresh absentee is midfielder Cani, still struggling with an ankle sprain.

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