The interminably boring international break is now finally coming to an end. On the one hand, the break couldn’t have been timed worse. Some of us may vaguely remember something of importance happening on the pitch for our humble team on the last full match day. I can’t quite put my finger on it but feel like it was exciting.
Oh yeah. We beat the piss out of La Liga pretty boys Barcelona. Not only that, but we did it with about one thousand injuries to players just as important or more to our team than to Barca’s. Will that stop them from saying “woe is us, we only had 1.3 billion euros worth of salaries at our disposal!!!”? Of course not. I’d expect nothing less from our Catalonian visitors. But at the end of the day (with just a liiiitle help from the woodwork) justice was served and we prevailed.
So…. It would’ve been nice to use that energy and spring off into a run of 17 games without dropping a point, as I assume likely would’ve happened.
But, at the same time, this team had a LOT of injuries going into the break and the level of exertion that the team needed to get through the Barca match likely took a lot out of them. Maybe it was good to have the break where it was, to bask in our own glory and get some guys healthy and back.
International duty unfortunately led to an injury to recently crowned hero Krohn-Deli who will miss out on the trip to Eibar. But aside from him, we will have Rami, Escudero, Kakuta, Tremoulinas, and Banega all back in the squad. This leaves me at a total loss of who to expect to see on the pitch on Saturday, but lets be honest. Even if there were only 11 players available, I still don’t think I’d ever be able to accurately predict an Emery lineup.
And now on to Basque country and on to Eibar. The standings are still not pretty. So despite the Barca showing, we have a lot of work to do to make up for what was a truly horrific start to the campaign. We sit 12th in the table with 8 points from 7 games. Not exactly dazzling. I’m really hoping that what we saw more recently is the true Sevilla and we won’t see a regression back to the lackluster, sloppy, aimless passing on display throughout most of our other matches. Eibar has started the season pretty well with 12 points and sitting 7th. I fully expect them to come out fresh and focused. This will be a difficult game. But this is the type of game where we don’t just need a result, we need a win. If we are going to make up ground and close the gap on the European (and ideally Champions League) spots, this is a game where we need all three. Other teams will struggle away to Eibar, so this is our opportunity to make up for past sins.
Team list: Sergio Rico, David Soria, Coke, Mariano, Trémoulinas, Kolo, Rami, Andreolli, Krychowiak, Nzonzi, Cristóforo, Iborra, Banega, Reyes, Vitolo, Konoplyanka, Immobile and Gameiro.
Bonus news: We’re playing Logrones of the Segunda B in our first Copa matchup. Hopefully we get to see some player rotations in those matches as we begin to resemble a complete squad.