Villarreal and Elche will dispute this Sunday in Valencia a new autonomous pulse with opposite trajectories and marked by the figure of the Colombian johan mojica who has left the Elche team this week, of which he was one of the main references, to sign for the Castellón team.
The calendar has wanted the first match in which the Colombian can be available to be against his former team, which despite the emotional blow of losing one of its most senior footballers, will seek its first league win against a Villarreal that, in the first meeting that he will play as a local, although with nuances, he also wants to add so as not to get off the top of the table.
Villarreal and Elche play the first derby of the Valencian Community of the season, a game that, as is already known, will be the first home game for the ‘yellow’ team, which after playing three games away due to the works at the Ceramic Stadium, debut in the Levante field.
The match, first at Villarreal’s home ground despite the fact that it plays in Valencia due to the construction of the La Cerámica stadium, arrives for the people from Castellón in positive dynamics after adding two victories and a draw in the domestic championship, to which they add having qualified for the group stage of the Conference League, while Elche did not arrive as buoyant, with two defeats and a draw, which puts them in the lower part of the table.
In addition, Unai Emery’s team arrives with the great absence of one of its regulars, confirming the two-month absence of Juan Foyth after the blow that the player received in the left knee and that joins the usual Alberto Moreno and Arnaut Danjuma, who are still in their recovery period.
Regarding the possible eleven, the team could be formed by Gero Rulli as goalkeeper, with a defense formed by Kiko Femenia, Raúl Albiol, Pau Torres and Alfonso Pedraza, a midfield with Étienne Capoue and Dani Parejo as pivots and Gio Lo Celso and Yeremy Pino on the wings, while Gerard Moreno and José Luis Morales would repeat in attack.
Elche, meanwhile, faces the game after a difficult week, marked by the transfer market. The Elche club has lost Mojica, and Lucas Boyé, their offensive reference, was on the starting ramp until the last moment.
Added to the instability caused by the market is the delicate situation of the team, which has yet to win and has only added one point out of the nine that have been disputed.
The match against Villarreal also opens a cycle of matches of maximum difficulty for Elche, forced to react if they don’t want to be left behind in the standings.
The team’s coach, Francisco Rodríguez, has already announced that Carlos Clerc will be Mojica’s replacement, so the left-back will make his debut as a starter at the Ciutat de València, where he has triumphed in recent seasons.
Elche, which will have more than half a thousand fans in the stands, will be able to count on Omar Mascarell for the match, recovered from some physical problems, but Gonzalo Verdú, Pol Lirola and Fidel Chaves are still out, convalescing from their respective injuries.
Nor will the last two signings of the team, the Argentines Fede Fernández and Fernández Mercau, who have not yet exercised with their new teammates, be in Valencia.
The main novelties in the line-up, in addition to Clerc’s debut, will be the return to ownership of Colombian Helibelton Palacios on the right side and Lucas Boyé in the center of attack.
Villarreal: Rulli, Kiko Femenia, Albiol, Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza; Capoue, Dani Parejo, Lo Celso, Yeremy Pino; Gerard Moreno and Morales.
Elche: Badia; Palacios, Roco, Bigas, Clerc; Collado, Mascarell, Gumbau, Tete Morente, Roger Martí and Lucas Boyé.
Referee: Ortiz Arias (Madrid Committee).
Countryside: City of Valencia.
Hour: 11:30 a.m. (Colombian time)