Real Madrid vs. Villarreal
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid Spain
3 PM EST Sunday, February 21. 2010
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Villarreal 8.50 / Real Madrid 1.30 / Draw 5.00
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
On Sunday night in the Spanish Capital Real Madrid hosts Villarreal in an important La Liga match. Real only lies 2 points behind Barcelona in the domestic league, but they lost their recent Champions League match in a disappointing 1-0 loss to Lyon in France.
Real came under attack after their loss to Lyon and even though their defense played well their offense played poorly and did not put much pressure on Lyon G Hugo Lloris. Madrid spent a ton of cash in the off-season, especially on offense, and in the Lyon match they failed to show up. If they play offense like that for the remainder of the season they will not catch Barcelona in La Liga and they will see a quick exit in the Champions League.
Villarreal is in the middle of the La Liga table currently in the 10th position. They have 2 wins, 2 losses, and a draw in their last 5 matches and they have already lost at home to Real Madrid this season. Villarreal has to start winning if they are going to play in European competition next season and they can get some momentum with a solid showing against Real in this big match. That is not out of the question, as Villarreal did play a great away match against Barcelona earlier this season.
This season Real Madrid has scored 53 goals and given up 15 goals and Villarreal has scored 33 goals and scored 31 goals.
Real Madrid Recent Form:
2/16/2010 Lyon 1 Real Madrid 0 (Champions League)
2/13/2010 Xerez 0 Real Madrid 3 (La Liga)
2/6/2010 Real Madrid 3 Espanyol 0
1/31/2010 Deportivo La Coruna 1 Real Madrid 3 (La Liga)
1/24/2010 Real Madrid 2 Malaga 0 (La Liga)
Villarreal Recent Form:
2/18/2010 Villarreal 2 Wolfsburg 2 (Europa League)
2/13/2010 Villarreal 2 Athletic Bilbao 1 (La Liga)
2/7/2010 Mallorca 1 Villarreal 0 (La Liga)
1/31/2010 Villarreal 0 Osasuna 2 (La Liga)
1/24/2010 Villarreal 4 Real Zaragoza 2 (La Liga)
Real has quite a few players banged up as Guti, Jerzy Dudek, Christoph Metzelder, Rafael Van der Vaart are all likely out for this match. However, the big guns of Real should be ready to go, especially Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. Look for Los Blancos to play an attacking style in this match in order to kick-start their offense.
For Villarreal Santi Cazorla, Gonzalo Rodriguez and David Fuster will probably miss this match due to injury concerns. Diego Godin suspended for this match after being sent-off last weekend.
Real Madrid has scored first in 7 of their last 10 games and they will need to get off to a good start in this match or they will really hear it from the fans.
Real’s defense has played great all season and they have 6 clean sheets in their last 10 matches. With the mediocre, at best, offense that Villarreal has I see them getting another clean sheet in this match.
Kaka played good in the beginning of the Lyon match, but then he disappeared as the match progressed. In the Castrol world rankings the expensive midfielder only ranks 118th, but he will come out and either score a goal or assist on one in this match.
Villarreal G Diego Lpez has had an up and down season, but he will be peppered all match by the Real offense and do not expect him to keep Los Blancos from scoring.
Real has to be wary of a counter attack, as that will be Villarreal’s best chance to score in this match. However, the defenders for Real have been solid this season and they will not allow that to happen.
Jason’s Pick: Real Madrid will come out firing in this match and I expect them to handle Villarreal with ease and score an early goal. Villarreal will not get many chances to score, as most of this match will likely be played on Villarreal’s side. Real will keep pressure on Barcelona with a home win, as I see them winning by a score of 2-0 or 3-0.