Villarreal go in search of their first victory of the new season when they welcome Real Madrid to the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday. The pressure’s back on Los Blancos after they threw away a late lead to draw at home to Real Valladolid last weekend.
Where and when: Estadio de la Ceramica – 1 September, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Villarreal vs. Real Madrid: ITV4
Last time: Mariano Diaz scored a brace either side of a Jesus Vallejo goal as Madrid won 3-2 at the Bernabeu towards the end of last season.
Villarreal v Real Madrid Predictions and Preview
With the summer transfer window slamming shut just hours before this fixture kicks off, we’ll know whether or not Zinedine Zidane has managed to land top target Paul Pogba. Failure to sign the Manchester United midfielder won’t improve the Madrid manager’s mood after his side were unable to beat Valladolid at the Bernabeu, with Villarreal looking to take advantage of any fragility in their visitors.
It’s far from a happy camp at Madrid, despite significant investment in an array of talented players this summer. They put all that behind them to win 3-1 away at Celta Vigo in their La Liga opener though. However, that positivity soon vanished when Sergi Guardiola cancelled out Karim Benzema’s 82nd-minute opener to deny Los Blancos a first home win of the season.
Things still seem very much up in the air in the Spanish capital, with Barcelona looking the most likely club to snap up Brazilian superstar Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain. Madrid need to get some good early points on the board, and they are at least unbeaten on their last three visits to Villarreal.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Real Madrid to win 3-2||16/1||Offer|
|Gerard Moreno to score first||7/1||Offer|
|Madrid to win and BTTS||15/8||Offer|
The two most recent of those meetings ended 2-2, with Real winning the other 3-2. Villarreal have only won one of their last seven against the capital club, a 1-0 success at the Bernabeu in January of last year. There’ll be no Javi Moyano as the Yellow Submarine attempt to improve that record, while Luismi, Pablo Hervias, Pedro Porro, Ruben Alcaraz and Sandro are all doubts.
Madrid meanwhile are hoping Eden Hazard and Ferland Mendy are available to make their debuts, although James Rodriguez has suffered another injury setback and Marco Asensio is a long-term absentee. Brahim Diaz and Rodrygo are both doubtful, while Gareth Bale is hoping to make it three straight starts to begin the season after a summer of high drama.
The visitors come into this match as the 10/11 favourites with the bookmakers, while the hosts are priced at 16/5. After back-to-back draws in the last two matches in Villarreal, and the hosts playing out a hugely entertaining 4-4 draw in their first home game of the season against Granada, the stalemate could be worth a look at 16/5, especially considering Madrid’s current issues.
One to watch for Villarreal: Gerard Moreno has scored in each of Villarreal’s two games so far this season, and the Spanish forward is 7/1 to continue his scoring run by netting the opener in this one.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Gareth Bale has been handed the chance to resurrect his Real Madrid career, and the Welshman needs to respond with goals. He is 6/1 to break the deadlock on Sunday.
Long shot: You can get odds of 11/1 on this game finishing 2-2, which would make it three successive draws by that scoreline between the two teams in Villarreal.