Our heroes return to La Liga seeking their second win of the year and first in domestic competition after running rampant over Borussia Monchengladbach for 90′ on Tuesday. After our first CL match we face three great opportunities to win points (Celta, @LasPalmas, Rayo) and two knee-knocking showdowns (@Juve, Barca) in a span of 14 days. Good grief.
Emery the wonder whiz will have to prepare his magic wand to conjure up the rotations that will see us through to the other side of this gauntlet (where we begin a new gauntlet of six matches in 21 days. Gooder grief!). Who do we think are most likely to be rotated in and out? Well, just about everyone. Our forward line of Gameiro, Llorente and Immobile have yet to find consistency we’ve come to expect (remember Gameiro last season getting a goal whenever he wanted off the bench?). We need a single striker to win out and become the clear starter. My money is still on Gameiro, who was active midweek. Our midfield has some leading men and then others who will likely serve in the backup rotation role. In the first category are Banega, Krycho, Reyes, and Vitolo; in the second Nzonzi, Krohn-Dehli, Iborra, Konoplyanka, and Kakuta. Really, this is a fantastic group of nine playmakers that can all step up when needed. It would be fun to see more of Kakuta this weekend.
I don’t want to make too much noise about goal keeping but is it ever nice to have our old (young) stopper Sergio Rico Suave back in net! Sergio Rico being back there means we will likely never see the kind of over-thinking that Beto often brings to goalkeeping. Sergio Rico makes the simple pass. Sergio Rico makes the clearance. Sergio Rico has just as much agility and reflex as Beto. Don’t get cute, Sergio Rico; just stay smooth. Do you, SRS. Honestly, it’s a small disgrace that he’s been left out of the lineup this year when he is largely responsible for our presence in the Champions League after last year’s Europa win that Beto almost single-handedly (no-handedly?) lost us in the semis away tie at Zenit when he came back from injury. Remember?
Of course, there are some important morbo type stories to make sure we mention, such as Iago “Me!” Aspas and Michael Krohn-Dehli facing their former clubs. I hope Aspas gets a nice welcome back to the RSP. He should have seen all along that there were two better strikers in line ahead of him, but I still feel for the guy and am glad he’s back at Celta after 3-4 years elsewhere falling short of stardom.
Ok, now for my dreams:
1. Nzonzi starts and makes a bunch of crunching, ball-winning tackles that the ref can’t help but let play on because of how perfect they were. Nzonzi’d!!
2. Iago Aspas scores a very sad own goal.
3. Sergio Rico Suave is seen licking his gloves seductively and becomes an internet meme.
4. 4-1 Sevilla win. VAMOS!!!!
What say you?