Villarreal - Real Madrid prediction
Undoubtedly, the most interesting clash of the 1/8 finals for the Copa del Rey in Spain will be played in Villarreal.
Where the local team of the same name hosts the champion Real Madrid.
This is a repeat of the championship meeting between the two teams played 2 weeks ago again at this stadium.
And won by the Yellow Submarine with 2-1.
Real Madrid have not won the Copa del Rey since 2014.
Having suffered 4 quarter-final exits since last lifting the trophy nine years ago.
But since their last stint as defending champions in 2014/15, the Royals have not been knocked out at the Round of 16 stage.
I don't believe they will do it now.
Especially since Real have to get back at Villarreal for the championship loss at the beginning of the month that I mentioned.
However, Ancelotti will surely rotate his squad. And that will likely lead to even more defensive instability .
Which immediately makes me think that Villarreal will score a goal or two. But Madrid will win in the end.
Correct score predictions: 1-3 or 2-3 for Real.
Villarreal - statistics and info
The Yellow Submarine sits in 5th place in the La Liga table, with 1 goal worse goal difference separating them from 4th placed Atlético.
But at the same time, only one goal separates Villarreal from Real Betis, which is in sixth position with the same point asset.
In addition, the next three teams (Rayo Vallecano, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna) are gathered within 1-2 points.
And there is definitely high tension in this part of the rankings.
The battle for the top four remains on the back burner for now.
As Villarreal attempt to reach the Copa del Rey quarter-finals for the 3rd time in the last 4 seasons .
Having beaten Santa Amalia, Guijuelo and FC Cartagena so far in the tournament this year.
The Yellow Submarine have not reached further than the last eight since losing to Barcelona in the 2014/15 semi-finals.
Which is also their best result in the competition.
But the first ever King's Cup has long been coveted by Keramika fans.
Real Madrid - statistics and info
Real Madrid have been having serious defensive problems lately - not a single clean sheet in the last 3 games.
This was particularly evident in Sunday's Super Cup final against Barcelona.
Gavi coolly scored the first goal before turning in assists for Lewandowski and Pedri either side of the break.
And Karim Benzema's response just seconds before the end served as small consolation for the capital giants.
Furthermore, Real Madrid are now playing catch -up with La Blaugrana in the La Liga title race.
As Real Madrid have to make up a 3 point gap to Barcelona.
And he faces a particularly challenging set of fixtures against Bilbao, Sociedad and Valencia in the coming weeks.
In the previous round of the Copa del Rey , Los Blancos had a tough time with amateur Caserno.
As the only goal for the 1-0 final came in the second half.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: Reyna; Cuenca, Albiol, Torres, A. Moreno; Capue, Morlanes, Parejo; Chukwueze, Moreno, Pinot
Injured: Foyt, Femenia, Lo Celso, Pedrasa, Jackson
Lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Kroos, Camavinga, Ceballos; Rodrigo, Benzema, Vinicius
Injured: Vasquez, Chuameni, Alaba
Matches Villarreal - Real Madrid
|LL||07/01/23||Villarreal 2:1 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|