Carlo Ancelotti’s side are actually on a run of five straight victories in all competitions, including their last four in the league, and the capital giants will enter this weekend’s contest off the back of a 6-1 victory over Mallorca at the Bernabeu, with Marco Asensio scoring a brilliant hat-trick for the home side. Real Madrid are only two points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid but sit eight points ahead of Barcelona; the Catalan giants, though, have two matches in hand and have made an unbeaten start to their domestic season despite some disappointing performances.
Los Blancos now have back-to-back home games against Villarreal and Sheriff Tiraspol in the league and Champions League respectively before the October international break, and another European victory next week would place the team in an excellent position to reach the round of 16. Real Madrid recorded a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in the corresponding match last season, but four of the last seven La Liga meetings between the two sides have finished level.Real Madrid’s injury issues at full-back, meanwhile, should see Miguel Gutierrez continue on the left, with the versatile Nacho operating at right-back.
Real Madrid will again be without the services of Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos for this weekend’s clash, while Toni Kroos and Marcelo are also unlikely to be available. Asensio’s treble against Mallorca should see him earn another start in midfield, but there will be changes from Wednesday’s match, with Casemiro and Luka Modric set to return to the starting XI. Eden Hazard is also in contention to play, having been an unused substitute against Mallorca, but Rodrygo could earn another start alongside Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior in attack.
As a result, Paco Alcacer could again lead the line with support from Yeremi Pino and Arnaut Groeneveld, while Manu Trigueros should feature alongside Dani Parejo and Etienne Capoue in midfield. Alfonso Pedraza had to be substituted at the interval of Wednesday’s clash with Elche, though, and his replacement in that match – Pervis Estupinan – could now come in for a start at the Bernabeu.As for Villarreal, Gerard Moreno, Dani Raba and Samuel Chukwueze all missed out against Elche, and it is unlikely that any of the trio will be available for this contest.
NAME: Real Madrid – Villarreal
DATE: 25 Sept 2021
TIME: 19:00 UTC
VENUE: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain