Real Madrid are back in action en route to Stade de la Ceramica for a rare second trip this season on Saturday.
Real had already played a La Liga match at Villarreal this season when they faced Levante again in October. The Ciutat de Valencia, Levante’s main stadium, was under renovation.
Now, Real Madrid are looking for a second win in the exact same stadium against a stronger opponent in Villarreal. El Submarino Amarillo has won three of their last five La Liga matches. They have not lost a match in the league since the end of September and are currently second in the league table.
Los Blancos are currently fourth in the league, just two points behind Villarreal and four points behind leaders Real Sociedad. Real lost their last match against Valencia before the international break. They have lost two of their last four league matches, while they have won the other three in that period.
Real Madrid did well in Ceramica, losing just one of their last ten away matches in Castellón. Real Madrid will once again seek to grab points from the second best team in Spain currently.
Real Madrid will miss some serious depth because without Eder Militao, Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Ramos, Casemiro, Fedi Valverde, Luca Jovic and Karim Benzema.
Villarreal will miss left-back Alberto Moreno due to injury.
There is no comment for either side in Saturday’s first four battle.
Asingo. Mario Albiol Torres Pedraza; Parejo, Ibora, Triggeros; Moreno, Gomez, Alcacer
Courtois. Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Mindy; Modric, Degard, Cross; Asensio, Hazard, Mariano
There are so many big hits in the starting line-up for Real Madrid that it will be difficult to beat a big team like Villarreal.
While Carvajal’s return is a big boost, losing Sergio Ramos for any length of time is devastating to Real Madrid’s line of defense.
The situation is not improving in defense in midfield as Casemiro and Valverde are also absent. Zidane will have to be creative either way, but Odegaard has recovered from injury and Isco as options.
Eden Hazard’s comeback is also big, especially with the absence of top scorer Benzema from this match.
Villarreal – Real Madrid 2-2
This will be a very difficult match for Real Madrid on the road due to the injury situation with the beginners and the depth.
Both teams have similar statistical lines, conceding the same amount of goals (9), while Real have scored one more goal this season (14). However, the loss of Benzema, fifth in La Liga goals, is crucial for the attack while the loss of Sergio Ramos is crucial for the defense.
Villarreal has two top goalscorers this season, Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer. Moreno in the fifth game with four goals, while Alcacer tied in second place with five goals. It won’t be easy for a Real Madrid defender who misses the best defensive player and defensive midfielder.
It would not be a surprise if Real lost this match under the circumstances, so the team has stopped working. It will be up to those involved to step up and take the brunt of the workload against a tough team on the road.
Real Madrid Villarreal have played hard at Ceramica in modern history, so it is important to build on it. They cannot afford another disastrous performance like losing Valencia if they hope to remain linked to this title race.
The team must force the team to score on the road to get the much-needed points after a heavy loss and a starting lineup full of injuries.