Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 8/11
Sixth-placed Villarreal play host to Celta Vigo this weekend in an effort to extend their European bid against a side that still harbours top-six ambition itself. Battling Celta are bound to be a huge test for the Yellow Submarine who are going through an inconsistent stretch at the moment.
The Yellow Submarine have enjoyed mixed fortunes thus far in the season. A strong side with a competitive squad did well to mount a top-six challenge but will need to find a way to be more consistent in the closing stage of the season.
Villarreal have alternated between wins and defeats over the last six La Liga matches and have yet to record consecutive victories at the Estadio de la Ceramica since the end of January. Javier Calleja will surely be hoping his in-form striker Carlos Bacca will be able to uphold the high level of performances and help his team record a vital win in a crucial part of the season. The Colombian forward netted three goals in last three outings and will be the one to watch on Saturday. Having already scored 15 across all competitions for Villarreal Bacca is his team’s top scorer with 12 of those coming in La Liga. The Colombian also recoded five assists which only highlights his overall influence in Villarreal’s play.
Daniele Bonera is struggling with a thigh injury and is unlikely to be fit to feature against Celta.
Bruno, Fornals, and Fuego are another three players Villarreal will have to do without on this particular occasion.
O Celtina might have won only two points in their three La Liga outings but they will nevertheless be satisfied due to the fact they managed to survive clashes with champions-elect Barcelona and third-place contenders Valencia, respectively.
Still in contention for a Europa League spot, Celta Vigo will use the last two results as a motivation to go strong into the final set of La Liga matches. Three points at Villarreal could potentially see them move from 10th to seventh place in the standings and there is no doubt that Juan Carlos Unzue’s men will do their utmost to emerge victorious from their trip to the Estadio de la Ceramica. It will be easier said than done knowing that Celta lost all of their three previous encounters with the Yellow Submarine. Three wins out of their last five trips to Villarreal will provide a note of optimism however as Celta look to record their first win away from home in last six attempts in La Liga. Celta last beat Real Sociedad back in January and will be under pressure to turn the tables around at a crucial stage of the season.
Celta captain Iago Aspas is suffering from a muscle injury and his absence will be a huge blow for the team.
Defender Facundo Roncaglia was forced off in the first half against Valencia with a dislocated shoulder and is set to sit out on the action during the next three weeks. Nemanja Radoja has a hairline bone crack in his rib and will remain out of action as well.
Key Factors to Consider
- Villarreal have either won or lost their six La Liga home matches
- Celta Vigo lost five of their last 6 matches on the road, failing to win any of them
- Villarreal emerged victorious from the last three meetings with Celta
- Hosts failed to keep a clean sheet in 4 of last 5 La Liga fixtures
- Celta won only one of their last seven league matches
With a European place at stake at the Estadio de la Ceramica, both Villarreal and Celta Vigo have plenty to fight for on Saturday. Six points apart in the standings, the two sides are in desperate need of consistency in the closing stages of the campaign and this is as good time as any to start.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 8/11
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