Everything you need to know ahead of Los Blancos’ Liga encounter at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday
Real Madrid will look to return to winning ways in the Primera Division away to Villarreal on Sunday after Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat against Valencia.
The loss at Mestalla meant that Zinedine Zidane’s side missed the opportunity to move further clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga and, although Los Blancos still have one game in hand, they could find themselves in second place by the time they kick off at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday evening.
Chelsea plot swoop for Atletico goalkeeper Oblak
Barca are in action away to Atletico at the Vicente Calderon earlier in the same day and a win for the Catalans would see Luis Enrique’s side move provisionally two points clear (albeit having played two more matches than their rivals).
REAL MADRID INJURIES
While the Welshman is in line to start at Villarreal, Raphael Varane misses out after picking up an injury at Mestalla on Wednesday. The French defender is set to be out for five to six weeks.
Danilo is training alone, but is still not ready to return from injury and will also miss out on Sunday.
REAL MADRID SUSPENSIONS
REAL MADRID POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
The Welsh winger has made two substitute appearances since returning from injury this month and is now ready to feature from the outset at Villarreal, where he made his Madrid debut back in 2013.
Elsewhere, Pepe will come in for the injured Raphael Varane in central defence, while Zidane could decide to use Isco and Mateo Kovacic in midfield after both were left out of the 2-1 loss at Mestalla on Wednesday.
VILLARREAL TEAM NEWS
The Yellow Submarine lost the first leg 4-0 at home to the Italian side and were never likely to find their way back into the tie, so will now concentrate their efforts on La Liga.
Fran Escriba’s side are currently sixth in the table, two points behind fifth-paced Real Sociedad and six adrift of Atletico in fourth.
Escriba rested 10 of his starters against Roma on Thursday with Sunday’s game against Madrid in mind. Nicola Sansone misses out against Madrid, but Roberto Soldado is back following three months on the sidelines.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
- Real Madrid have won just four of their last 12 visits to Villarreal.
- Real Madrid have scored in their last 43 games in all competitions and could equal the best streak in La Liga history (Barcelona in 1944).
- Gareth Bale played his first official game with Real Madrid at Villarreal and scored with his first shot on target.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals against Villarreal (11) than any current Liga player.
- Sergio Asenjo has kept more clean sheets this season (11) than any other goalkeeper in La Liga.