Villarreal Vs Real Madrid, La Liga 2013: Scouting Villarreal

David Ramos

After spending one season in the Liga Adelante, Villarreal are back in the Spanish first division with a much different team.

Giovani Dos Santos is Villarreal's heart and soul at the moment. The Mexican playmaker has started the season in impressive fashion with two goals scored and also two assists. He's been playing as the team's second striker just when everybody thought that he was going to be a winger. Gio is still 24 years old but he's got so much attention throughout his career that it seems like he's been there forever.

Perbet is Villarreal's other striker. He's also scored one goal and he will fight for the starting spot with Nigerian striker Ikechukwu Uche for the rest of the season. Both of them will surely enjoy playing with Dos Santos, as the Mexican is the kind of player that enjoys assisting his teammtes.

Bruno and Trigueros are Villarreal's midfielders. Bruno stayed with the team after their relegation even though it seemed that Valencia CF were interested in signing him away from Villarreal. He's the kind of defensive midfielder that balances the squad, and with Dos Santos on the team and Cani on the left wing, there's no need for him to create and dictate the tempo of the game.

Cani is playing on the left but he's helping Gio a lot at distributing the ball and creating plays for their teammates. He's right-footed and when placed on the left he tends to go to the middle to assist and help Trigueros and Bruno out with their offensive duties.

Another Mexican player, this time Javier Aquino, is Villarreal's right winger. He's only 22 years old and Villarreal signed him away from Cruz Azul. He has scored one goal and delivered one assist so far in what has been a great start of his European career.

Mario, Musacchio, Dorado and Costa form Villarreal's defensive line. Musacchio is probably the highlighted player on that line. The Argentinian player was a good prospect before Villarreal relegated, but he's still 23 years old and if he lives up to expectations, some big European team could end up showing interest on signing him.

Sergio Asenjo is Villarreal's goalkeeper after the Spanish goalkeeper left Atlético Madrid. It's true that he should and could have contributed more in Atlético after he left Valladolid, but he didn't start well his tenure there and Thibaut Courtois ended up getting the starting spot.

Real Madrid's midfield and defensive line should be very careful with Villarreal's counterattacks. Gio Dos Santos is a brilliant player there and it will be very hard to stop him in he has the space and time to go forward. They're not as brilliant defensively, so they might struggle a bit if the opposition force them to defend with a tight defensive line. But it's true that this style would allow them to play in that counterattacking style that suits them best.

It will be interesting to see if Real Madrid try to defend and implement that counterattacking style with Di María, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo that has always been so successful, because Villarreal are yet to find their groove against good defensive teams.

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