Villarreal CF – How Will They Perform in Spanish Top Tier In 2021/22?
Even though Villarreal was founded in 1923, its introduction to the top tier in Spanish football came no earlier than 1998. Afterwards, they faced relegation back to the second tier in 2012 but returned to the first tier the following year. Ever since that, the club mainly found itself in the top half of the league and has won few trophies on the way.
Nicknamed as the yellow submarines due to its yellow kit, the club plays its home games at Estadio de la Cerámica, which can host more than 23,000 fans. Its crosstown rivals are Valencia CF, with whom they play Derbi de la Comunitat. In the top five leagues across Europe, Villarreal CF is an example of a small yet very well-managed club.
Team’s Performance in Last Year’s Competition
Winning the Europa League last season was the highlight of Villarreal’s season, where they finished 7th in the league. Nevertheless, their success in the Europa League guaranteed them a place in the Champions League in 2021-22.
Villareal was a free-scoring team last season and scored a total of 60 goals in the league season and ended the season with a goal difference of +16. They also finished 7th in their Copa Del Rey campaign, losing out to Levante in a 1-0 match after extra time.
Gerrard Moreno was the club’s leading scorer in their league season, with an impressive number of 23 league goals. Other leading goal scorers were Paco Alcacer and Carlos Bacca, who finished with 6 and 5 goals.
Villarreal’s first-team squad isn’t much changed from their squad last season, as they hope to keep a similar streak as last season. Villarreal CF first-team squad for 2021-22 is:
Gerónimo Rulli (Goalkeeper) Sergio Asenjo (Goalkeeper) Pau Torres (Centre-Back)
Juan Foyth (Centre-Back) Aïssa Mandi (Centre-Back) Raúl Albiol (Centre-Back)
Alfonso Pedraza (Left-Back) Pervis Estupiñán (Left-Back) Alberto Moreno (Left-Back)
Mario Gaspar (Right-Back) Rubén Peña (Right-Back) Francis Coquelin (DM)
Étienne Capoue (DM) Manu Trigueros (CM) Dani Parejo (CM)
Vicente Iborra (CM) Arnaut Danjuma (Left Winger) Yeremi Pino (Left Winger)
Moi Gómez (Left Winger) Samuel Chukwueze (Right Winger) Dani Raba (Right Winger)
Gerard Moreno (CF) Paco Alcácer (Centre-Forward) Boulaye Dia (CF)
As you can see from this squad, Villarreal CF has a lot of firepower up in their front line, and goal-scoring should not be an issue for a team with such a rich front line. Furthermore, their mix of young and experienced centre-backs has paid them well, and they hope to continue it. They also have a very pacey winger, and if there is an area that they can improve in their team, it is their midfield.
Challenges They Face This Year
Villarreal CF, with their limited sources, had a pretty successful season last season. They won their first-ever European trophy and finished at a respectable 7th position. As a result of their victory in the Europa League, they qualified for the Champions League in the 2021-22 season.
Club had struggled with their midfield, and the signatures of Dani Parejo from Valencia CF a season before having helped them massively. It was evident in their last season’s campaign, as Parejo did lead the midfield well, but the club still struggled with establishing a midfield that can control the game’s tempo.
The Spanish League has gotten even more challenging this season, and the teams that usually fight with Villarreal for a position in the top half of the table have strengthened their squads. Furthermore, Villarreal’s defence transition could also be a bitter pill to swallow for the club.
Players To Watch
If we have to list the top three players in the 2021-22 league season for Villarreal, it has to be Dani Parejo, Pau Torres, and Gerard Moreno..
Former Real Madrid centre-back Raul Albiol is a familiar face these days in the backline of Villarreal CF, but due to his age, he is nowhere near Pau Torres. Every time he plays, the Spanish international centre-back improves, and it is reasonable to state that he is one of the finest centre-backs in Europe right now.
After leaving Real Madrid, Dani Parejo has performed consistently wherever he has played, and he would be an influential figure in Villarreal’s season performance. He is underrated but is one of the most skilful veteran midfielders across Europe.
Finally, we reach the leader of Villarreal’s frontline and always-dangerous Gerard Moreno. Moreno, who scored 23 goals last season, will be a constant threat to the opposition’s defence this year.
If a manager can claim to be the king of Europe, it has to be the current manager of Villarreal FC – Unai Emery. He has won the Europa League four times as a manager – three times with Sevilla FC and his current team, Villarreal CF.
After his successful time at Sevilla FC, he managed giants like PSG and Arsenal and is back in Spain with Yellow Submarines. He thrives on opportunities and rarely loses at big stages, and he has instilled the same mentality in his new club.
As he does everywhere, Unai Emery has experimented with several different formations at Villarreal with their time so far. The 4-1-4-1 formation, however, has been the most successful and commonly used by him, but he’s also improvised to more of a 4-4-1-1, a conventional 4-3-3, and even on challenging occasions, has utilized 4-4-2. If Villarreal keeps a 4-1-4-1 formation this season, and his essential players don’t get injured, it would be an exciting season for Villarreal CF.
Predicted Finish in League Table
Villarreal knows that they have a very tough season ahead, and it will take an extraordinary effort by them if they want to finish in the top half of the Spanish top tier.
- Our Predicted Position in The League Table at The End of The Season for Villarreal CF: 9th
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