Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Villarreal

Real Madrid host Villarreal to the Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon in a game of the 35th La Liga Matchday.

Los Blancos have nothing but pride to play for in the final three games of the 2018-19 campaign. They will be looking to bounce back from an embarrassing defeat to, now relegated, Rayo Vallecano as they meet another struggling side – Villarreal.

The Yellow Submarine, on the other hand, have won 10 points of their last four games in the Spanish championship. They could officially avoid relegation tonight, even with a point, if Real Valladolid lose to Athletic Bilbao in the afternoon.

Team news

Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr is finally to be ready to start his first game under Zinedine Zidane, after recovering fully from torn ankle ligaments.

Karim Benzema – the only Real Madrid player to score in April is not expected to feature despite returning to training following a hamstring injury, while captain Sergio Ramos and full-back Alvaro Odriozola remain sidelined.

Karl Toko Ekambi and Santiago Caseres are both suspended for Villarreal, while there are concerns over the fitness of Carlos Bacca and Manuel Morlanes.

Injured trio Bruno Soriano, Miguelon and Daniele Bonera is expected to miss the Yellow Sumbamines’ trip to Madrid on Sunday.

What did the managers say

Zinedine Zidane wants to end the season in a strong fashion, as his Madrid side will probably finish third in La Liga.

“We want to continue our winning run at the Bernabeu,” Zizou said via the Real Madrid official website.

“We’ve got the chance to do just that and to show everyone that we’re keen to end the season strongly and put in good performances. We enjoy playing at the Bernabeu and we’re going to try and make sure that the fans are proud of all of the players.

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“We’ve had our struggles, the season has been a tough one and they’re aware of the fact. But we want to, at the very least, put in a good performance tomorrow.”

Villarreal boss Javi Calleja believes his team can win a vital three points against one of the best teams in the world.

“We’re excited and keen on getting a win at the Bernabeu, which would practically secure our place in the top flight next year,” Calleja said via Villarreal’s official website.

“Winning there would be ideal, especially so we would have a pay-off for all the hard work we’ve put in so we could confirm staying up. They’re one of the best teams in the world with players who’ve won everything and we know how difficult getting a positive result would be.

“Real Madrid are always dangerous whatever form they’re in, and although it’s clear that this isn’t their best year, they’ll play in front of their home fans. It will be complicated, but we trust ourselves to play well to get the three points.”

Stats

Real Madrid and Villarreal have always played entertaining games, as both teams managed to score in 13 of the last 20 encounters between these sides.

Villarreal was the team that won last year’s clash at the Bernabeu – it is their only away victory against Madrid in the XXI century.

Los Blancos have struggled over the past month, noting two wins, two draws and two defeats in the six La Liga games they played in April.

The Yellow Submarine have suffered only one defeat in their last five games against Real Madrid, noting three draws in the process.

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