Current La Liga title holders Real Madrid aims to stretch their winning run to three consecutive league games in a row when they face Villarreal away from home on Saturday at El Madrigal stadium.
Real Madrid went to level points (38) with Barcelona at table-top after scraping past Valladolid in the previous matchday while the Blaugrana dropped points in the Catalan derby. Meanwhile, Villarreal occupies the 7th position in the league table after coming out with the bragging rights in Derbi de la Comunitat and moving to 24 points total.
Villarreal lost their Europa League-winning coach Unai Emery this season to Aston Villa but the Yellow Submarine have kept themselves in the run, despite their problems.
Their recent action was in the Copa Del Rey where they routed FC Cartagena 5-1 courtesy of goals from Alex Baena, Arnaut Danjuma, Luis Morales, Samuel Chukwueze and Etienne Capoue.
They are in firm contention to qualify for Europa League football for next season as they are only three points behind 4th placed Atletico Madrid and a point off Athletic club who for now settle on 5th place.
As for Real Madrid, they will look to continue their stellar run over the home team, against whom Los Blancos have not lost since 2015 in away performances.
Although Real Madrid grabbed the three points at Valladolid, the performance was a lack-lustre one until Karim Benzema thumped home the penalty to sway the momentum in his side’s favour. Their recent clash was also in the Copa Del Rey where they again faced goalscoring issues to 4th tier Cacareno but a Rodrygo worldie helped them scrape past a shock.
Currently tied at the top with Barcelona, Carlo Ancelotti will need to rally his men in the right way to brush off the post-World Cup blues and stack themselves for an exciting title race. Three points at Villarreal will set the team’s tone perfectly before they gear up for a quick game run within a few days.
LAST FIVE RESULTS IN ALL COMPETITIONS
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For Villarreal, star man Giovanni Lo Celso is set to be out of this fixture due to a hamstring problem.
Geronimo Rulli’s recent agreement with Ajax means he’s out of the team sheet. Pepe Reina is set to replace the Argentine in between the sticks.
Juan Foyth, Yeremi Pino, Dani Parejo are expected to start.
For Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal is out with a minor muscle issue. Lucas Vasquez is the man to cover for him in the right-back.
David Alaba. Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos, Fede Valverde and Luka Modric are all set to return for this game.
Villarreal (4-3-2-1): Reina; Femenia, Foyth, P Torres, Moreno; Capoue, Parejo; Chukwueze, Baena, Pino; Danjuma
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius