Real Madrid will be bidding to make it back-to-back wins in La Liga when they make the trip to Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday afternoon to face Villarreal.
Los Blancos are currently top of the table, six points clear of second-placed Sevilla, while Villarreal occupy sixth spot, three points behind fourth-placed Barcelona ahead of the next set of fixtures.
Villarreal made it back-to-back La Liga victories last weekend when they impressively beat Real Betis 2-0, with Pau Torres and Etienne Capoue scoring the goals in the success at Estadio Benito Villamarin.
Unai Emery’s side also beat Mallorca 3-0 before the break, and the two results have allowed them to move into sixth position in the table, boasting 35 points from their opening 23 matches; they are only three points behind fourth-placed Barcelona and just five behind third-placed Real Betis.
The Yellow Submarine were knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the start of January, but they are still in the Champions League and will welcome Juventus for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League contest on February 22 before the return fixture in Turin on March 16.
Villarreal have impressed in front of their own supporters this season, picking up 24 points from 12 matches, recording seven wins in the process, which is the fourth-best record in the division.
However, they have not beaten Real Madrid in the league since January 2018 and will be taking on a Los Blancos outfit boasting the best away record in Spain’s top flight during the 2021-22 campaign.
Real Madrid were far from their best against Granada last weekend but managed to return to winning ways, with Marco Asensio’s 74th-minute effort securing a hugely important three points at Bernabeu.
Los Blancos have a huge Champions League clash next week, travelling to Paris Saint-Germain for the first leg of their last-16 tie, but they cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in the league, with second-placed Sevilla only six points off the summit on the same number of matches.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have enjoyed an impressive season to date, picking up 53 points from their 23 matches, recording 16 wins, five draws and two defeats, scoring 48 times and conceding 20.
Real Madrid, as mentioned, have been comfortably the best away side in Spain’s top flight this season, picking up 25 points from 11 matches courtesy of a record of eight wins, one draw and two defeats.
Los Blancos, who are bidding to win their first La Liga title since 2019-20, were held to a goalless draw by Villarreal at Bernabeu earlier this season, though, and the two teams played out a 1-1 draw when they locked horns at Estadio de la Ceramica last term.
Villarreal La Liga form:
Villarreal form (all competitions):
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
We say: Villarreal 1-1 Real Madrid
If Benzema was definitely available for this match then we would be backing Real Madrid to win 2-1, but the Frenchman is unlikely to feature, which will be a huge boost for Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine are chasing a top-four finish this term, and we believe that a tight match this weekend will finish all square.