Forecasting the Outcome: Real Madrid versus Villarreal

Real Madrid will be taking on Villarreal in a crucial La Liga match at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, aiming to bounce back to winning ways after a string of unconvincing results. With just two matches left before the end of 2023, it’s a crucial period for both teams.

The host, Real Madrid, currently sits behind the surprise package of the season Girona in the La Liga standings. They are fresh off a 1-1 draw against Real Betis in their previous league fixture – a result they will be looking to improve upon. Villarreal, on the other hand, suffered a damaging 3-0 defeat at home against Real Sociedad in their last league match.

Real Madrid, under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti, has managed to maintain strong performances in the face of key injuries to several players. Despite their injury woes, they have only suffered one defeat this season, against Atletico Madrid back in September. They also comfortably secured a spot in the Champions League knockout round as Group C winners, winning all six matches in the group stage.

In their recent league outing, a 1-1 draw against Real Betis saw them settle for the second spot in the table with 39 points, just two points behind league leaders Girona.

Real Madrid boasts the best defensive record in the Spanish top flight, having conceded just 10 goals in 16 league matches. This is especially impressive considering the absence of key figures like goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and center-back Eder Militao, who have been sidelined since August due to injury.

Aurelien Tchouameni is set to rejoin the squad after recovering from a fractured foot, but a number of players including Dani Carvajal, Vinicius Junior, Eduardo Camavinga, Arda Guler, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois remain sidelined.

In response to the injury crisis, adjustments are expected in the lineup for the upcoming match. Players like Toni Kroos, Antonio Rudiger, and Ferland Mendy are expected to return to the starting eleven.

Villarreal, on the other hand, has a positive recent record against Real Madrid, winning their last two La Liga encounters, including a 3-2 victory at Bernabeu last season. However, their inconsistent league performance has left them in the 13th spot with 16 points from 16 matches.

Marcelino’s team also faces a considerable challenge to secure a place in European competitions at the end of the 2023/24 campaign, currently sitting 18 points behind fourth-placed Barcelona and 13 points adrift of the top six.

Despite their domestic struggles, Villarreal has fared better in the Europa League, topping Group F with 13 points, securing their place in the last-16 stage after a 3-2 victory against Rennes.

Santi Comesana, Aissa Mandi, Yeremi Pino, and Denis Suarez are among those set to miss the upcoming match for Villarreal.

Both teams will be looking to secure the much-needed three points from this encounter, albeit for different reasons. The match is expected to be a closely contested affair, with Real Madrid’s defensive solidity pitted against Villarreal’s attacking prowess.

A low-scoring affair is predicted, with Real Madrid edging out Villarreal in the end. Therefore, a bet on total goals under 3.5 is advisable, with the best odds available at 5/6 from Olympusbet.

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