Thursday, June 17, 2021

Prediction: Real Madrid vs Villarreal

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 22 May 2021

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Knowing that they must collect three points if they’re to stand any chance of a stunning late charge for the title, Real Madrid will welcome Villarreal to the capital on Saturday evening.

Real Madrid

Starting with the hosts, while Real Madrid might have managed to land a 1-0 win away at Athletic Bilbao last time out, it appears that it might be too little too late for Los Blancos. Knowing that they need a minor miracle if they’re to somehow leapfrog crosstown rivals Atletico on the final weekend, the defending champions open Saturday’s finale sat two points adrift of top spot. Crashing out of the Champions League at the hands of Premier League outfit Chelsea earlier in the month, Head Coach Zinedine Zidane faces the prospect of ending the 2020/21 campaign without a piece of silverware to show for their troubles. Simply looking to put some pressure on Atletico this weekend and do their part, the former French icon will at least be boosted by his side’s continued domestic success on home soil this season. Despite last being seen at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano playing out that action-packed 2-2 draw against Sevilla, Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last nine La Liga contests in the capital, a run that stems back to the end of January.

Team News

In a boost for Real Madrid, defender Raphael Varane returned to training earlier in the week and looks set to start at the heart of Los Blancos’ defence this weekend.

However, the trio of Ferland Mendy, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez all looks set to once again miss out on Saturday evening.

Villarreal

As for the visitors, although Villarreal might have been stunned by that 4-2 defeat at home against Celta Vigo earlier in the month, The Yellow Submarine have bounced back in an eye-catching fashion. Last seen putting in a thumping display, Unai Emery’s men shocked many as they landed a 4-0 romp against Sevilla, a performance billed as arguably their best of the season. Looking to cause an upset when they travel to the capital this weekend, the former Arsenal boss also has a Europa League final on the cards for later in the month. Coming past his former employers and booking a showdown against Premier League giants Manchester United, Villarreal have also largely impressed with their performances on the road this season. Picking up a 2-0 win away at Real Valladolid in their last matchup away from the Estadio de la Cerámica, Emery’s side have mustered themselves 12 points from their last five La Liga contests on their travels.

Team News

Villarreal have confirmed that they will once again be without the likes of Samuel Chukwueze, Juan Foyth and Vicente Iborra this weekend.

However, Unai Emery will be able to welcome back Etienne Capoue, Mario Gaspar and Geronimo Rulli after all three served a suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off in the reverse fixture back in November, Saturday’s opponents played out a 1-1 draw.
    • Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last nine La Liga contests on home soil, a run that stems back to the end of January.
    • Villarreal have collected 12 points from their last five La Liga matchups away from the Estadio de la Cerámica.
    • Karim Benzema has recorded 22 La Liga goals this season, the third-best return in the division.
    • Each of the last six meetings between Los Blancos and Villarreal have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    Knowing that they must collect maximum points on Saturday evening if they’re to stand any chance of leapfrogging Atletico and defending their crown, we could have a lively affair on our hands this weekend. Managing to keep their outside chances alive with a 1-0 win away at Athletic Bilbao last time out, Zidane’s side have continued to impress at their temporary home this season. However, although Los Blancos might be unbeaten at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano since January, Villarreal find the mood in their camp at a real high. Shocking many as they landed that stunning 4-0 romp against Sevilla last weekend, The Yellows also have a Europa League final on the horizon. In a contest that famously produces fireworks, don’t be surprised to see chances come thick and fast. With each of the last six meetings finishing with both teams finding the net, we’re backing a similar outcome.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 7/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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