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LaLiga 2022-23: Villarreal vs Real Madrid: Predicted lineup, injury updates, head-to-head

Published at :January 6, 2023 at 11:57 PM
Modified at :January 7, 2023 at 12:19 AM
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Samad Haque


The reigning champions will travel to the east as they face the Yellow Submarines on Saturday.

Real Madrid travels to the east of Spain in the Castellon province as they face Villarreal at Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday. The reigning Spanish champions are looking for their third straight victory in the league. The Yellow Submarines are currently sitting seventh in LaLiga as they managed to scrape through Valencia in their last game of 2022.

Los Blancos are second in the league level on points with their rivals Barcelona at 38 only behind on goal difference. Real Madrid restarted their LaLiga campaign against Real Valladolid, thanks to Karim Benzema's brace in the closing stages of the game to be level on points with Barcelona. Madrid has a lengthy record against Villarreal as they haven't lost an away game against the Yellow Submarines since December.

Villarreal on the other hand are pushing to get into the European qualification spot as they are just one point behind Real Betis. Quique Setien's men recorded a 5-1 victory in the Copa del Rey this week against FC Cartagena. A win over the reigning champions will see them in the top six spots. Although, their opponents Real Madrid are looking to go on top of the league as Barcelona faces Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.

Kick off: 8:45 PM (IST), 3:15 PM (GMT)

Real Madrid (all competitions): W-W-W-W-W

Villarreal (all competitions): W-W-W-W-W

Team News

Giovani Lo Celso will miss the game due to a hamstring injury while Francis Coquelin is also a major doubt for the fixture. After the changes in the Copa del Rey game, Setien will bring in his aces Juan Foyth, Etienne Capoue, Samuel Chukwueze, Dani Parejo, Pau Torres, Alberto Moreno and Yeremi Pino.

Gerónimo Rulli working on his way to making a move to Ajax. The World Cup winner has confirmed that he sign for the Amsterdam club and won the Europa League with the club in 2021. The Argentine spent two years with the Yellow Submarines and won the first title of the club with his heroics.

Pepe Reina will make his second start for Villarreal in this LaLiga campaign.

For Real Madrid, Mariano Diaz will be out of the game with an ankle issue. While Dani Carvajal is a little doubtful therefore Lucas Vazquez will make the starting lineup. There are also growing concerns about Thibaut Courtois' availability but he is hopeful to make it in the XI.

Real Madrid will also make many changes from the Copa Del Rey game, with David Alaba, Ferland Mendy, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior all making their return.

Players to watch out

Etienne Capoue

The 34-year-old French midfielder is a legend in the making for the Yellow Submarines. Capoue has been the anchorman for Villarreal building the game from the back. Etienne Capoue has an 83 percentile in dribble completion and makes small attacking runs from the middle of the pitch. He is also vital in the box from set pieces and also in his own half as his stats say he has a 96 percentile in clearances and 82 percentile in aerials won.

Vinicius Jr.

The Brazilian is making exceptional strides under Carlo Ancelotti accumulating six goals and three assists in 15 games this season. His linkup with Karim Benzema has been applauded on multiple occasions which also saw them lifting the Champions League last season. Although the French striker isn't in good form Vinicius can exploit the defence with his pace and skill.

Match facts

  • Villarreal hasn't won the last nine games against Real Madrid in La Liga (D6 L3) since January 2018.
  • Villarreal has not lost their first game of the year in thirteen years; their last loss was against Real Madrid 1-0 in 2009.
  • If Real Madrid loses this game, it will be for the first time that they lose the first games of the year in consecutive years.

Head-to-head Stats

Total: 44

Real Madrid: 24

Villarreal: 4

Draws: 16

Predicted Lineup

Real Madrid: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius

Villarreal: Reina; Femenia, Foyth, P Torres, Moreno; Capoue, Parejo; Chukwueze, Baena, Pino; Danjuma

Prediction

Real Madrid youngsters are in red-hot form with Rodrygo scoring the only game of the Copa Del Rey game. While Vinicius has been sensational throughout the year. Aurelien Tchouameni has set in perfectly with the departure of Casemiro to Manchester United. The touchline battle will be against Vinicius and Foyth which will see a lot of tackles and skills.

Real Madrid are favourites to win this game as they are riding high in confidence in the Spanish division. Villarreal are struggling a little bit but has managed to take out two wins since the restart of the League after the World Cup.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2 - 1 Villarreal

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