?Real Madrid will look to extend their unbeaten start to the season when they travel to winless Villarreal on Sunday night.
Los Blancos haven’t lost either of their opening two La Liga fixtures, managing one win and one draw to kick off their campaign. They could’ve secured back to back wins but missed out last Saturday, conceding a late 88th minute equaliser to Real Valladolid.
On the other hand, Villarreal are still looking for their first win of the campaign. They shipped four goals in a 4-4 draw with Granada on the opening day, before throwing away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Levante.
Here’s our preview of Sunday’s ?La Liga clash.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 1 September|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Estadio de la Ceramica|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||ITV4 (UK) – FuboTV – Free Trial (US)|
|Referee?||Jesus Gil Manzano|
Where to Buy Tickets
Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams’ official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.
Villarreal’s sole absence is captain Bruno Soriano, who has been out of action for over two years with a leg injury. They otherwise have no fresh injuries.
?Real Madrid have an injury-blighted squad, with six players sidelined ahead of Sunday. ?Eden Hazard and Brahim Diaz are out with hamstring injuries until mid-September, while ?Isco and ?James Rodriguez both picked up short-term injuries this week.
Los Blancos also continue to be without Marco Asensio, who has been out since July with a cruciate ligament rupture. 18-year-old Rodrygo remains sidelined with a hamstring problem, meaning Real are short of three left wingers ahead of this weekend.
|Villarreal||Fernandez; Gasper, Albiol, Torres, Quintilla; Anguissa, Cazorla; Chukwueze, Iborra, Gomez; G.Moreno.|
|Real Madrid||Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius.|
Head to Head Record
There have been 40 meetings between Villarreal and Real Madrid, with the Valencian side having won just four times. This gives Los Blancos an overwhelming dominance in this tie, with 24 wins to their name alongside 12 draws.
They last met in May 2019 near the end of last season, as Real ran out 3-2 winners at the Bernabeu. Goals from Mariano and Jesus Vallejo secured the win for the Madridistas, in what proved to be their final victory of the campaign before they lost their final two games.
Villarreal have lost one of their last four home meetings with Real Madrid, and haven’t beaten them in any of their six meetings in September. Real have won just one of their previous four meetings, and haven’t kept a clean sheet against them since April 2016.
Villarreal have begun the season without a win, sitting 13th in La Liga. While results have not yet come, one thing they have been good at is scoring, netting four goals in three consecutive games and scoring in each of their last five overall fixtures.
After a penalty shootout defeat to Roma in pre-season, Los Blancos looked to be off to a superb start with a win over Celta Vigo in Galicia. However, they were held to a disappointing draw by Valladolid last week.
Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures.
|Levante 2-1 Villarreal (23/8)||Real Madrid 1-1 Real Valladolid (24/8)|
|Villarreal 4-4 Granada (17/8)||Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid (17/8)|
|Bologna 3-4 Villarreal (10/8)||Roma 2-2 Real Madrid (5-4 on Pens) (11/8)|
|La Nucia 0-4 Villarreal (7/8)||RB Salzburg 0-1 Real Madrid (7/8)|
|Schalke 3-1 Villarreal (2/8)||Real Madrid 5-3 Fenerbahce (31/7)|
Real Madrid haven’t had the most consistent start to the season yet, even if they are just two games in. Being unbeaten is a positive, but their performances have shown vulnerabilities which cannot be exposed when they travel to Villarreal this weekend.
With the hosts in good goalscoring form and vying for a win, they look like they could nick a point against the Spanish giants. It will be a tough ask for the Valencian side, but they should be able to come away with at least a point.
Prediction: Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid