This is one of the standout fixtures this weekend in La Liga. Villarreal are one of those teams that regularly causes problems for the real big guns of Spanish football, particularly the Madrid giants. They’ve got a few results at the Bernabeu in recent years and will travel in reasonably optimistic mood, given Los Blancos still look well short of their best.
They’ve won just 1 of their last 4 matches in all competitions. That came against second tier Numancia in the Copa del Rey and their last two league games have again highlighted just how fragile they are right now. A 3-0 clasico defeat was followed by a 2-2 draw in Vigo in a game that could easily have gone either way. The return to fitness of Gareth Bale who bagged both their goals at Balaidos is a major plus but his strike-partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo still doesn’t totally convince, with the duo rarely combining well in that game.
In theory there is plenty to encourage Villarreal but the Yellow Submarine have problems of their own. They’ve just sold their star striker Cedric Bakambu and are still without one or two other key men due to injuries. They were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes in midweek and were held to a poor home draw by struggling Deportivo La Coruna last weekend, so they aren’t really in the sort of shape that suggests they are going to cause an upset.
There should be a goal in it for them though. Real Madrid have some selection problems at the back and have at times been far too easy to break down. They’ve conceded 1 goal per home game on average in La Liga this season and they’ve actually let in two or more goals in 5 of their last 6 competitive home games at the Bernabeu. Therefore even a depleted Villarreal attack have reasons to be positive and Carlos Bacca should ask real questions of this home defence.
However, going forward Real Madrid still have so much attacking quality that they should get the job done. 71% of their league games this term have produced over 2.5 goals in total, with their home games averaging 3.11 per game. Therefore backing Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score looks to offer value here in what will be an interesting game as Los Blancos look to avoid falling even further behind Barcelona.
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