Preview: Villarreal v Real Madrid

Gareth Bale Real Madrid

Villarreal will be looking to do the double over a Real Madrid side distracted by the upcoming Champions League final in their last match of the 2017/18 La Liga season.

Primera Division
Date: 19 May 2018
Round: 38
Kick-off: 20H45 local time
Venue: Estadio de la Ceramica
Referee: J. Sanchez
Assistants: J. Aguilar, J. Gallego
Fourth official: J. Gallego Gambin

Head-to-head summary:


Villarreal 35 4 10 21
Real Madrid 35 21 10 4

Previous encounter:

Real Madrid 0-1 Villarreal 13/01/18 (La Liga)

Villarreal goalscorer: Pablo Fornals (87′)

Players to watch:

Pablo Fornals scored the all-important goal the last time these two sides faced each other but it is Carlos Bacca leading Villarreal’s goalscoring charts with 15 goals this season. Javi Calleja’s side is, however, full of goalscorers, with midfielder Samu Castillejo taking his tally for the season to five following a brace in the 4-2 defeat of Deportivo La Coruna last time out.

Zinedine Zidane is expected to rest a number of players ahead of their European final, although Gareth Bale should get some more game time, having returned to the side following injury with three goals in his last three games, to move onto 15 goals for the season.

Team form and manager quotes:

Villarreal come into this game having secured a place in the Europa League group stages for next season, in fifth position on the Primera Division standings with 60 points,

They also on a run of five wins from six league games, suffering a 5-1 defeat to Barcelona before seeing off Deportivo last time out.

Real, meanwhile, in third place, could secure second with all three points, coupled with a loss by Atletico Madrid to Eibar. They come into this game on the back of a 2-2 draw with Barcelona, 3-0 loss to Sevilla and a 6-0 hammering of Celta Vigo in their last game without an injured Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ahead of the game Zidane told his club’s website: “We’ve had a great week, we’ve trained very well, at an impressive rhythm. We’re switched on and ready for the final. All 24 of us are well-prepared and raring to go. We hope we can put in a good performance tomorrow, it’s important, we want to finish La Liga on a high and then we’ve got one week to get ready for the final”.

Team news:

Ronaldo appears to have overcome a sprained ankle but is not expected to play on Saturday.

Villarreal have Bruno Soriano and Ramiro Guerra sidelined with injury.