Preview and Prediction
The Yellow Submarines are surprisingly sitting on the second of the table above the three classic La Liga contenders, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. They have collected 18 points so far in nine matches. This weekend, Unai Emery’s men are seeking for their sixth victory while hosting Real Madrid. The defending Champions are now still on the fourth with two points lower than Villareal.
Both teams’ previous games
Paco Alcacer and Co secured their away win before the international break after dismantling Getafe 3-1. The former Dortmund man opened the scoring but Manuel Arambiri equalised through his long range strike. However, Villareal restored their lead as Manuel Trigueros tapped in the ball into the net and Gerrard Moreno doubled their lead at the second half.
Los Blancos, on the other hand, suffered their second defeat of the season while visiting Mestalla. Valencia smashed them 4-1 despite leading first through Karim Benzema’s goal. However, the home side made a stunning comeback by Carlos Soler’s penalty hattrick and Raphael Varane’s own goal.
The former Arsenal boss, Unai Emery, is likely to employ 4-3-3 again with Paco Alcacer, Gerrard Moreno and Moi Gomez or Take Kubo as the front trio. In the midfield, Dani Parejo, Victor Iborra and Manu Trigueros will occupy the area. On the injury table, only the left back Albert Moreno is ruled out.
Meanwhile, Zinedine Zidane is currently facing the physical fitness issues after the international break. A bunch of key men such as Dani Carvajal, Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos, Casemiro, Eden Hazard plus Alvaro Odriozola and Nacho are sidelined due to their injuries. Thus, he needs to select his starting IX carefully to avoid another loss. Eder Militao is the only available option to cover Sergio Ramos while in the midfield, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will anchor the attack supported by Isco.
Players to watch
Villareal’s main scorers, Gerrard Moreno and Paco Alcacer are still irreplaceable figures on their attack. They both have scored nine goals combined in La Liga. Another notable name to watch is the left back Alfonso Pedraza.
In Madrid, the Frenchman Karim Benzema is still the number one forward. He has netted six goals and three assists in all competitions. Some other vital figures on the pitch are Ferland Mendy and Thibault Cortois.
Villareal vs Real Madrid Prediction
Zidane’s men recent crisis, fatigue threat after the international break and the negative result in the previous outing should warn them not to underestimate the home side’s potential to bring another nightmare for them. With less players called up for the international fixture, Unai Emery’s men could snatch a narrow win here.
According to the punters, there is no clear favourite in this game. Villareal are priced to win at 11/6, whereas Real Madrid’s win market is at 10/7. The odds for the draw result are at 3/1.