Real Madrid VS Villarreal Live Football Match Score 7/1/2023
Reigning Spanish champions Real Madrid will be bidding to make it three straight La Liga victories when they face Villarreal on Saturday afternoon. Los Blancos are currently second in the table, level on points (38) with leaders Barcelona, while Villarreal occupy seventh position, one point behind sixth-placed Real Betis ahead of the next set of fixtures. Villarreal have had their problems this season, but the Yellow Submarine have won their last two in the league, including a 2-1 success over Valencia last weekend, which moved them onto 24 points from 15 matches. Quique Setien’s side are only one point behind sixth-placed Real Betis and just three behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, so they are in a solid position at this stage of the campaign, and a victory over the champions on Saturday afternoon would be another huge step in the right direction.
Villarreal were in Copa del Rey action on Tuesday, recording a 5-1 victory over FC Cartagena to secure their spot in the last-16 stage of the competition. The Yellow Submarine are also competing in the Europa Conference League this season, progressing to the knockout round of the competition by topping Group C with 13 points from six matches. Villarreal, who have finished fifth, seventh and seventh in their last three La Liga campaigns, have actually held Real Madrid to goalless draws in their last two league meetings, but they have not managed to overcome the capital outfit in Spain’s top flight since a 1-0 success at Bernabeu in January 2018.
Real Madrid have not lost away to Villarreal since December 2015, which is a staggering run of results against the Yellow Submarine on the road, and they will be bidding to extend that record on Saturday afternoon. Carlo Ancelotti’s side were back in La Liga action against Real Valladolid on December 30, recording a 2-0 victory courtesy of a late double from Karim Benzema, and the result moved the reigning champions onto 38 points from their 15 matches, which is the same as leaders Barcelona at this stage. Barcelona are in action against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, so Real Madrid will have the chance to again move to the summit with a win here, and Los Blancos have the best away record in La Liga this season, picking up 21 points from their eight matches on their travels.
Real Madrid also played in the Copa del Rey earlier this week, progressing to the round of 16 courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Cacereno, with Rodrygo netting the only goal of the contest in the 69th minute. Ancelotti’s side are preparing to enter a busy run of matches, as they will face Valencia in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals on January 10 ahead of a possible final against Barcelona or Real Betis, while they will also take on Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad in the league before the end of the month. Villarreal will be missing Giovani Lo Celso on Saturday afternoon due to a hamstring problem, while Francis Coquelin is also a major doubt for the home side here.
There will be changes to the side that started in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday, with Juan Foyth, Etienne Capoue, Samuel Chukwueze, Dani Parejo, Pau Torres, Alberto Moreno and Yeremi Pino all set to return. However, there will be no Geronimo Rulli, who is on the verge of making the move to Ajax. As a result, Pepe Reina is set to feature between the sticks for just the second time in La Liga this season. As for Real Madrid, Mariano Diaz is again absent with an ankle issue, while Dani Carvajal is also out due to a minor issue, so Lucas Vazquez is in line to start at right-back, with Alvaro Odriozola also out of the squad.
There had been some fears over Thibaut Courtois’s availability, but the Belgium international is fit to start in goal for the Spanish and European champions. There will be wholesale changes to the side that started in the Copa del Rey last time out, with David Alaba, Ferland Mendy, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Benzema and Vinicius Junior all set to return to the starting team for this contest.