Villarreal hosts Real Madrid at ‘el Madrigal’ this Saturday, September 27th at 10 AM EST. ‘Los Blancos’ have been scoring for fun in their last two matches and will be looking to finally begin their assault on La Liga after two straight defeats to Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad. Villarreal currently sit in 7th after a few decent results barring the home defeat to Barcelona. This is definitely one of the more attractive games of the match day.
5 Key Factors
Villarreal are tough side to beat at home. They’ve defeated Rayo Vallecano soundly with a 4-2 defeat and barely missed out on a huge point when Barca visited. They gave Barcelona a hard time and were unlucky not to get a point. Villarreal will hope that El Madrigal can continue to be a 12th man and fortress for them considering they only suffered four league losses there last season.
Madrid’s Worrying Defense
To say that Madrid’s defense has been ‘leaky’ is an understatement. They’ve conceded seven league goals this season and that is far too many for the European champions. Six of those league goals came in their two defeats against Atletico and Real Sociedad; they’re defensive frailties cost them six points.
The Madrid back line has to do better if they want to keep the pace on Atletico and Barcelona. Villarreal has proven that they can score goals and exploit defenses of which looks vulnerable in Madrid’s case.
Villarreal’s Strong Defense
Villarreal on the other hand look a bit stronger defensively. They’ve only conceded three goals so far and have kept two clean sheets. They have been defensively stronger than Real Madrid and will need to be even better against an inspired Ronaldo. Musacchio will have a long night containing Ronaldo and Bale. Picking up a pint at the very least would only confirm that Villarreal has a tight defense that can carry them through the season.
Dos Santos Brothers: Barcelona products
The game against Real Madrid could see the first league game with both Giovani Dos Santos and his younger brother Jonathan Dos Santos playing together for Villarreal. Both players were Barcelona youth products and understand the magnitude, as should the rest of the team, of what it means to play against ‘los galacticos’.
Giovani is the main attacking piece in Garcia Toral’s system. He’s coming back from injury and he’ll hope he can count on him to produce some magic for Villarreal, such as his beautiful free kick against them last season. I don’t think Giovani will start, but it is highly probable that he’ll receive minutes. Jonathan is slowly breaking into the starting XI. The injury to Hernan Perez has given him a chance to show what he can do and he’s settling in nicely.
Who else, but Ronaldo?
Ronaldo will surely be the protagonist of this game. He’s scored seven league goals in the past two games. Seven! Ronaldo is on a hot streak as of late and I wouldn’t bet against him to score a brace. Every good attacking move from Real Madrid usually has Ronaldo in there somewhere. He will be applying constant pressure and getting Bale and Benzema involved along with James. This attack looks like a well oiled machine, and his name is Ronaldo.
Projected Villarreal Starting XI
Jonathan Dos Santos
Projected Real Madrid Starting XI
Prediction – Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid