Villarreal - Real Madrid prediction
Fresh from beating Valencia in the last round, Villarreal will be looking to take the scalp of Real Madrid this weekend as well.
The yellow submarine put up a serious fight against Ancelotti's team in both of their meetings in the previous season.
As they finished in a 0-0 draw both at home and away.
This was no accident. Because Villarreal have a pretty decent record against Real Madrid in recent years.
Los Blancos have won just three of their previous 10 matches (3-6-1) against Villarreal.
So the hosts will play without fear on Saturday.
I think their chances of scoring are not small at all.
Real Madrid were a little lucky to keep a clean sheet against Valladolid last time out.
While before that, the Whites conceded a goal in four consecutive La Liga games.
And their previous 6 official matches before the World Cup were goal/goal in all competitions.
Ultimately, though, I predict the Royals will win here.
Carlo Ancelotti's side have a knack for winning even when they don't necessarily play well.
And I can imagine him weathering the Villarreal storm before finding a way to triumph.
Prediction: 2 and goal/goal.
Villarreal - statistics and info
The 2022 World Cup break came at a good time for Villarreal.
Less than a month before the tournament in Qatar , Unai Emery left the club to take charge of Aston Villa.
Emery won the Europa League with the Yellow Submarine and took them to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Establishing his reputation as a specialist in the continental race.
The memories of the team's exploits in these two tournaments will live long in the memory of all supporters.
Villarreal's performance in La Liga under Emery, however, has not been as good.
And the hope is that Quique Setien can make the Yellow Submarine challenge for the top 6 and maybe even the top 4 after his appointment as the new head coach.
Setien managed 3 matches before the World Cup, two of which ended in defeat for his team.
But Villarreal finished the first part of the campaign with a 1-0 win over Espanyol.
And in their first game last weekend, they beat local rivals Valencia 2-1.
Setien 's side have clearly taken advantage of the few weeks on the training ground to work hard.
The 64-year-old's reputation suffered after a disastrous spell at Barcelona in 2020.
Although the problems the Blaugrana faced that year were by no means entirely his doing.
Having been sidelined since then, Setien will now be desperate to make a positive impression.
This is his ninth role in a managerial career that began at hometown club Racing Santander in 2001.
Real Madrid - statistics and info
Real Madrid is back where the club feels it always belongs - at the top of the La Liga table .
The White Ballet fell to second place in the standings just before the World Cup break.
But the team benefited from Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Espanyol last weekend.
Their own 2-0 win over Valladolid was enough to send the champions back to top spot.
Where they are actually level on points with the Catalans but have the head-to-head advantage.
Los Blancos, however, had to work hard to reach the triumph against Valladolid.
As two late goals from Karim Benzema eventually secured them a valuable 3 points.
Carlo Ancelotti admitted his side did not defend particularly well despite the clean sheet.
Real Madrid relied on Thibaut Courtois to save them on several occasions.
Although Carletto will no doubt confirm that the brilliant Belgian is there for exactly that purpose.
Benzema made his return from injury and showed clear signs of nervousness at the start of the game against Valladolid.
But the former French international (he recently announced his retirement from the national team) gradually entered the meeting.
And again he was the hero who won the match for Madrid.
Real took part in the Copa del Rey in midweek and beat Cartagena's reserves 5-1.
But he will need to be more solid in defense on Saturday if he is to claim another win against Villarreal.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: Reyna; Femenia, Foyt, P. Torres, Moreno; Capue, Parejo; Chukwueze, Baena, Pinot; Danjuma
Injured: Lo Celso, Coquelin
Lineup: Courtois; Vasquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Chuameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Injured : Diaz, Carvajal
Matches between Villarreal and Real M
|LL||12/02/22||Villarreal 0:0 Real M|
|LL||25/09/21||Real M 0:0 Villarreal|
|LL||22/05/21||Real M 2:1 Villarreal|
|LL||21/11/20||Villarreal 1:1 Real M|
|LL||16/07/20||Real M 2:1 Villarreal|
|LL||01/09/19||Villarreal 2:2 Real M|
Ranking and Form in the league