MATCH PREVIEW: REAL MADRID VS VILLARREAL - LOS BLANCOS TO OVERPOWER AN UNDERPERFORMING AWAY SIDE?
Real Madrid would be hoping to continue their winning streak against Villarreal this weekend as they host the struggling Europa League winners on Sunday. Real Madrid have currently won their last 4 games in a row and are looking at the top of their game all around.
In their last game, they had a whopping 6-1 victory against Mallorca. In just 6 games, they have scored 21 so far this season having only conceded 8. They are currently the leaders of the table with 2 points ahead of Atletico Madrid.
Villarreal on the other hand have won 1 and drawn 4 of their 5 games hence they sit 12th in the table. They started their campaign with 4 consecutive draws which is way below expectations especially having won the Europa League last season. In their last game, they won 4-1 against Elche that would have given them a much-needed boost in morale.
They have only scored 2 goals apart from their last game which is why they would be hoping they don’t fall back into a rut. Villarreal are surely the underdogs heading up to the game but they are known to break the momentum of the elite clubs since 4 of their last 7 encounters have resulted in a draw. Villarreal have a clear shot this time around as well.
Los Blancos have an injury crisis at the back but have enough depth in their ranks to deal with it. Ferland Mendy, Carvajal are not available and even Marcelo is in no shape to start. Dani Ceballos and Gareth Bale both are suffering from long term injuries and even Toni Kroos might not feature on Sunday. Marco Asensio scored a hat-trick in their last game which makes him an ideal name in the starting lineup.
Real Madrid Predicted Starting Lineup: Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Alaba, Gutierrez; Asensio, Casemiro, Valverde; Vinicius, Benzema, Rodrygo.
Gerard Moreno, one of their most important players, is suffering from a thigh injury since the International Break and even though he might be seen on the sub’s bench, Moreno is probably out of contention. Even Samuel Chukwueze has been suffering through a calf injury and will be a major absentee for Unai Emery to think about.
Villarreal Predicted Starting Lineup: Asenjo; Gaspar,Juan Foyth, P Torres, Estupiñan; Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros; Groeneveld, Alcácer, Pino
Vinicius Jr has finally unlocked his true potential this season after a streak of sensational performances in the opening games. He has scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists in 7 appearances and is turning out to be one of the most efficient attackers La Liga has seen in the last couple of seasons.
He has an Xg (expected goals ratio) of 0.68 per 90 which is even higher than Karim Benzema. He takes 6.89 touches in the penalty box per 90 which depicts how big a threat he is for the opposing goal.
Villarreal may have had a topsy turvy start to their campaign on the front foot but defensively they have hardly made any mistakes. They have only conceded 3 goals so far which means their defenders are working very hard to keep their boat afloat.
Juan Foyth has been an effective addition to their squad since the Argentine has been on top of his game since his arrival. He makes 2.81 successful tackles per 90 which is commendable by any means. He also has enough pace to keep up with Madrid’s attackers’ stride to stride.
Real Madrid have a few crucial players out injured but they have been coping well so far in the campaign. Villarreal too have many attacking players injured which is a big blow for them since they haven’t fared well even with their complete squad. FootTheBall predicts Real Madrid 2-1 Villarreal.