On Friday night, Copa Del Rey is back for the Round of 16 fixtures

Villarreal have been in quite a run of their own in the last few weeks as they have been in a seven-game unbeaten run in competitive and non competitive fixtures. Their most recent draw against Celta Vigo was another show of their resilience and they are pushing for an elusive Champions League spot under the helm of Quique Setien sitting fifth on the LaLiga table.

The ongoing Copa Del Rey is a probable silverware for them as they are eyeing the Quarterfinals of this competition for the third time in four seasons. They defeated FC Cartagena comfortably 5-1 away at the Cartagonova after going down early by 1-0 the last time they were in action in the Copa Del Rey.

The Los Blancos on the other hand will be eager to make a comeback after their recent upset against Barcelona in the Supercopa De Espana final in which they lost 3-1 to the Blaugranas. There has been a gruesome race between Barcelona and Real Madrid in the LaLiga in the past few weeks but Real Madrid have had a relatively disappointing run which sees them second in the LaLiga table as of now three points behind their rivals.

However, Ancelotti will be eyeing the prestigious Copa Del Rey title, a glorious trophy that the Los Blancos have clinched for a recrd 19 times. They had to scrape out a result against Cacereno in the Round of 32 fixture whom they defeated 1-0 to progress into the Round of 16.

Kick-off:

Thursday, 19 January, 08:00 pm (GMT)
Friday, 20th January, 01:30 am (IST)

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

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

Player to watch

Villarreal

Gerard Moreno

Though he was benched in the last game against Celta Vigo due to concerns on his injury, his place in the starting XI for this fixture is a must if Quique Setien wants to all guns blazing. Also, he has been the most prolific player for the Yellow Submarine yet again this season as he has scored 8 times and assisted 3 times ut of 14 appearances across all competitions.

Real Madrid

Karim Benzema

His goal might have been a late consolation against Barcelona in the Supercopa De Espana final, but the 2022 Ballon d’or winner still remains the most potent threat for Ancoletti. Netting 11 times this season across all competitions, he has become more of an overall forward who can play at any position nowadays.

Match facts

  • Real Madrid succumbed to the Yellow Submarine in the past week as they were defeated 2-1 at El Madrigal whish saw the Los Blancos drop to second in the La Liga table.
  • A total of 133 goals have been scored between these two sides with Real Madrid having an upper hand with 88 goals while the Yellow submarine have netted 45 times.
  • On an average 2.93 goals have been scored between these two sides whenever they have met, a goal scoring encounter is very likely if you are up for an edge of the seat stuff!

Injury and team news

Villarreal boss Quique Setien has revealed that Juan Foyth and Kiko Femenia will both be missing out due to shoulder and calf injuries respectively. Arnaut Danjuma’s situation is yet to be revealed as he has reportedly been travelling around Europe to hold talks with certain clubs and his place in the starting X1 is very unlikely. The likes of Giovani Lo Celso, Alfonso Pedraza and Nicolas Jackson may remain on the sidelines despite making progress in their injury recoveries although the veteran and ex-Madrid centre-back Raul Albiol is back from a ban and could make his place in the starting XI.

Real Madrid have had some injury concerns lately but there have been more issues of fatigue in their ranks after their recent trip to Riyadh for the Supercopa De Espana final. Lucas Vazquez will be out for a few more weeks as his concerns with a sprained ankle continues while Aurelien Tchouameni and David Alaba were also vital misses due to calf injuries. The rest of the squad are in line for action but Ancelotti will have to make some changes if things do not pan out the way he expects to. Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos might get a run out in place of Modric and Rodrygo who have been underperforming in the recent weeks.

Head-to-Head stats

Matches: 45

Villarreal: 5

Draws: 16

Real Madrid: 24

Also Read: Where and how to watch Spanish Copa del Rey 2022-23 in India?

Predicted lineup

Villareal predicted lineup (4-3-3):

Reina; Cuenca, Albiol, Torres, A. Moreno; Capoue, Morlanes, Parejo; Chukwueze, Moreno, Pino

Real Madrid predicted lineup (4-3-3):

Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Kroos, Camavinga, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr

Prediction

This will be a close encounter between two La League sides who are well balanced and under good guidance. Despite the fact that the Los Blancos are not soaring as high as they aim to be in the recent weeks. They will still be the favourites to grab this one with renewed hope and energy after losing the Supercopa De Espana final against Barcelona. Although Quique Setien and his men will be up for defying the odds, we are slightly keeping Ancelotti’s men ahead in this game due to the immense potential and experience in their ranks.

Prediction:  Villarreal 1-2 Real Madrid

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