This is another massive home game for Villarreal at the renovated Estadio de la Cerámica. Their ground reopened its doors and the improved capacity and atmosphere were of great benefit for them in a comeback win over rivals Valencia last week.
Quique Seiten had a point to prove going into the Valencian derby and if they can hold Madrid here, it’s another feather in his cap.
The only important absence for Villarreal is Lo Celso who is injured.
Keeper Rulli is not expected to play as he nears a move away from Villarreal to Ajax. This means veteran Pepe Reina will stay in goal despite a mistake in the win over Valencia which fortunately for him, ultimately didn’t count against his team.
Real Madrid Summary
Real Madrid needed a late show against Real Valladolid on their return to action after the break. It was a game where the boss rested several key players due to World Cup fatigue.
Real Madrid will feel confident about improving on that win to keep the pressure on leaders and rivals Barcelona.
Los Blancos are set to recall Luka Modric to the starting side and Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelién Tchouaméni are also pushing for starts in a Real Madrid starting XI set to be much stronger than last weekend’s unconvincing win over Valladolid.
Carlo Ancelotti has only one important man out with right-back Dani Carvajal missing out. His backup Álvaro Odriozola is also missing for the trip and so the versatile and reliable Lucas Vasquez will perform at full-back.
Fringe striker Mariano Díaz is also expected to be out.
Looking at the 1×2 market first, where the favourite for this game is Real Madrid who are priced @ 2.10 to get a victory. Villarreal respects their opponent who although they haven’t beaten since 2015, the last five contests at home were drawn. Punters that predict another one can bet the ‘x’ @ 3.70. Villarreal is still buoyed by their improved home ground, they’re @ 3.40 to win.
Moving onto the Asian handicap market for this contest which holds some appeal for Real Madrid -0.25 @ 1.82, given that a draw would only lose half of the stake. After losing just one of their six home league games this season, a confident and near full-strength Villarreal could make this a tough game for champions Real Madrid. Villarreal +0.25 is @ 2.05 and if they draw, their backers get a half-win.
Looking at The Under/Over market last of all where the goal line has dropped down to 2.75 from opening at 3, making the over more attractive. The fall in the goal handicap indicates that punters are not confident of goals in this match which is rare for Real Madrid against a relatively high-profile club. Over 2.75 @ 1.80 is a definite preference in this market as both have goals in them and Madrid will play a strong team and attack from the start. Under 2.75 is @ 2.03.