Real Madrid vs Villarreal Match Preview & Predictions

Real Madrid vs Villarreal

Real Madrid vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Los Blancos aim to pip Atleti to the title on the final day.

Date Saturday 22nd May 2021
Kick-Off 18:00 (local time)
Stadium Alfredo Di Stefano
Competition LaLiga

Real Madrid vs Villarreal Preview


Real Madrid's Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium
Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano via Brgesto, CC BY-SA 3.0

It’s the end of the road for LaLiga 2020/21 but we head into the final matchday still unsure as to what the destiny of this title race will be. Real Madrid will have fond memories of hosting Villarreal at the Alfredo Di Stefano having defeated them to clinch the title last season but it’s a different matter this time around with Atletico Madrid very much masters of their own destiny.

Should Atleti win at relegation threatened Real Valladolid, Diego Simeone’s side will be champions regardless of the result in this match. However if Atleti drop points, Los Blancos will win the title by claiming victory here. That would be a sweet way for Zinedine Zidane to depart, if this is indeed to be his final game as Real Madrid boss as has been widely speculated.

There was a point last weekend when it looked very much as though the title would be heading to the white half of Madrid again. With Atleti trailing heading into the latter stages of their game and Real Madrid in front in Bilbao thanks to Nacho’s goal, Zidane’s men were back in pole position but Atleti ultimately staged a dramatic late comeback at the Wanda Metropolitano. Los Blancos can only really worry about their own business here and having gone 17 without defeat in LaLiga, they should be too strong for a Villarreal side that will have one eye on other matters.

LaLiga have done them a slight favour by moving this game (and a host of others) forward a day to give them a bit more preparation time for Wednesday’s Europa League Final against Manchester United. However it still seems likely that Unai Emery will rest some key players here and make plenty of subs to conserve energy for that showdown in Gdansk.

Villarreal secured European qualification for next season by hammering Sevilla 4-0 at the Ceramica with fans present to see Carlos Bacca score a hat-trick against his old club. However they are in 7th heading into this match and need a result here if they are to stand a chance of leapfrogging either Real Betis or Real Sociedad to claim one of the two Europa League places as opposed to the Conference League one.

Head to Head

  • Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Real Madrid Wins, 4 Draws.
  • The sides drew 1-1 at the Ceramica earlier this term.
  • All of the last 6 meetings have seen both teams score.
  • Real Madrid have claimed 2-1 and 3-2 wins in the last 2 meetings in Madrid.

Team News

Toni Kroos has tested positive for COVID-19 and is expected to be out. Sergio Ramos is an injury doubt while Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy are definite absentees.

Villarreal may rotate heavily due to the upcoming Europa League Final. Juan Foyth and Samu Chukwueze are both injury doubts.

Predicted Real Madrid Starting Lineup:

Courtois – Gutierrez, Nacho, Militao, Odriozola – Modric, Casemiro, Valverde – Vini, Benzema, Asensio (4-3-3)

Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:

Asenjo – Estupinan, Torres, Funes Mori, Gaspar – Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo – Pino, Nino, Gomez (4-3-3)

Real Madrid vs Villarreal Prediction: Real Madrid to Win 3-1

Real Madrid have generally delivered when it has mattered this season and you fancy they will keep up their part of the bargain here by defeating a Villarreal side that will inevitably have one eye on that big Final this coming week. Whether that’s enough to clinch the title will depend on what happens over in Valladolid.


All our MD38 Previews | LaLiga Fantasy Football


 

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1538 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.