Villarreal host Real Madrid on Sunday evening, kicking off at 9:00pm local time. Both sides need to regroup after a disappointing result on match day two, and previous games between these teams never disappoint the spectator.

Home Team: Villarreal

Gone are the days that Villarreal were a prominent team in the UEFA Champions League, but aspiring to be back there again doesn’t look on the agenda just at this moment in time. They were in the Europa League last season, but it was a major distraction to their league form as they finished in 14th spot. Once they were eliminated in the quarter final stage, it was only then, that Villarreal picked up their form assured themselves of a La Liga place this year.

So far this season, they were involved in a highly entertaining match that finished 4-4 against Granada, but Villarreal will be questioning how they could give up a 4-2 lead with only 15 minutes left on the clock. This past weekend, Villarreal suffered a defeat at the hands of Levante. Once again, Villarreal threw away a lead to go on and lose 2-1 courtesy of two penalty kicks awarded against them. If Villarreal take the lead against Real Madrid, who would be on them keeping it?

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Away Team: Real Madrid

Real Madrid didn’t let me down last week, by letting me down (if that makes sense?), as they dropped points at home to relegation battlers Real Valladolid. We are not sure what to expect from this Real Madrid side, but their performance this weekend echoed the same sort of themes we were used to last year.

They didn’t sparkle up front, and were tested several times going in the opposite direction. Karim Benzema – who continues to be their best performing player – scored in the 82nd minute and it seemed Real Madrid were on course to make it two wins from two. However, they then conceded a late goal to drop two early crucial points in the title race. Eden Hazard is still injured and is rumoured not to return until September. Real Madrid will have to make do without their key signing for another game, and hope to get over the line against Villarreal.

Head to Head

There have been many fantastic games between the two teams in recent seasons with there being an average of over 4 goals in their last three meetings – 3-2, 2-2 and 2-2. In the last 8 matches, there isn’t a lot between the two sides, with Real Madrid winning just three times, with Villarreal winning twice, and there being three draws. At Villarreal last season, veteran midfielder Santi Cazorla scored twice for the hosts as they drew 2-2 which the exact score in the season before at the same venue. Can lightning strike in the same place thrice?

My Predictions and Betting Tips

Villarreal are at 3/1 to win, with Real Madrid favourites at 3/4. A draw is backed at 16/5. Real Madrid have had a tough time of getting three points against Villarreal in recent years, but I can see them getting the victory here. Villarreal is leaking a lot of goals, so I anticipate Real Madrid in getting a 3-1 victory at 12/1. Karim Benzema is the man to back for Real Madrid at 10/11 to score at any time, 3/1 to score first, or 9/1 to score a brace.

For the hosts, Gerard Moreno has got off to a brilliant start, and he is at 7/1 to score first. Both sides have scored at least 2 goals in their last three meetings, and for them to get another 2-2 draw, it’s at 11/1. Villarreal have given leads away for fun so far, so backing Real Madrid to win from behind at 8/1 seems reasonable.

Finally, for the tipsters, there is unbelievable value of there being a 0-0. Usually, the odds of that score line is between 7/1 and 14/1, but for this game, its priced at 25/1.

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