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Villarreal vs Real Madrid
Time – India: 8:45 PM (Saturday); UK: 3:15 PM (Saturday)
Venue: Estadio de la Ceramica
Referee: Alejandro Hernandez
After enjoying a couple of impressive wins in Champions League and La Liga, respectively, Real Madrid’s winning run came to a screeching halt at Valencia, just before the international break. The defending champions were poor in every sense of the term and were deservedly beaten 4-1 at the Mestalla.
This week, they are gearing up for a possibly trickier trip to Villarreal — a team that have picked up 18 points in the division to clinch second place. At the Ceramica, the team almost always manage to put their best foot forward, and they’d be particularly excited to welcome the champions to town.
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: Head-to-head
Total matches: 38
Villarreal wins: 4
Real Madrid wins: 21
Real Madrid and Villarreal have crossed paths a total of 38 times in the recent past. The Whites, as expected, have a much superior win record. But it’s the record of 13 stalemates that would cause some concern — especially considering Real Madrid’s poor track record this season.
Real Madrid’s last win over Villarreal came in July 2020 — a 2-1 win at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium. Their last defeat was in 2018, at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: Recent form
Villarreal: W-W-W-W-D (Most recent first)
Real Madrid: L-W-W-D-W (Most recent first)
On paper, Villarreal may not be in the same league as their illustrious opponents, but their recent form is certainly better than Saturday’s visitors. The Yellow Submarine haven’t tasted defeat in their last five matches across all competitions and were subjected to a solitary stalemate — against Cadiz in late October. In that period, they scored 12 goals and conceded only two.
Real Madrid, of course, bagged a massive win in El Clasico, but that didn’t give them the momentum they’d anticipated. In their next match, they huffed and puffed to a 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach before bouncing back with two wins against Inter and Huesca.
Finally, just before the international break, they were subjected to an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at Valencia.
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: Team news
Fortunately, the hosts, Villarreal, don’t have to deal with a long list of absentees. They would miss Alberto Moreno, who wouldn’t be back before 2021. Jaume Costa is also dealing with physical discomfort and is a doubt for the match. Finally, Argentine central defender, Juan Foyth is racing against time to recover from a muscle injury.
Absentees: Alberto Moreno
Doubtful: Juan Foyth, Jaume Costa
While Villarreal are gearing up to take on the champions with an almost complete squad, the visitors have a bucketload of injuries to manage. Captain Sergio Ramos pulled his hamstring on Tuesday and is set to miss the match.
Raphael Varane, too, is nursing a shoulder injury and remains a doubt. Eden Hazard, Casemiro, and Eder Militao have recovered from COVID 19 and should start for the champions. Fede Valverde has been ruled out with a shin injury.
Absentees: Sergio Ramos, Fede Valverde
Doubtful: Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Raphael Varane, Alvaro Odriozola
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: Probable XI
Villarreal: Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan; Iborra, Parejo, Trigueros; Moreno, Alcacer, Gomez
Real Madrid: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Varane, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Hazard, Benzema, Asensio;
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: Where to watch
India: No Telecast
UK: La Liga TV (Premier Sports)
Stream in India: Facebook Watch on Facebook
Stream in the UK: Premier Sports Player
Villarreal vs Real Madrid: Prediction
Real Madrid and Valencia have always managed to give us unpredictable fixtures, and we don’t believe this one would be any different. Villarreal, especially in their own backyard, can be an indomitable object.
Real Madrid have the quality to dismantle them, of course, but they are likely to find this endeavour rather challenging. Zinedine Zidane’s men cannot afford any more slip-ups so early in the season, but we can only see them getting a point from their tricky trip to Villarreal.
Villarreal vs Real Madrid predicted scoreline: 1-1