Villarreal vs. Real Madrid 3 PM ET Wednesday September 23, 2009
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
In an early season match at El Madrigal in Villarreal Real Madrid looks to keep their record perfect against the Yellow Submarines. This may the first test for the newly stacked Real Madrid squad and Villarreal looks to get back on track after a tough start to the season with 2 draws and 1 loss. The home squad has yet to win a La Liga match, but they are always dangerous at home. Villarreal has been hurt by the injury to Marcos Senna and their defense has struggled big time. Both Llorente and Joan Capdevila have called on their team to step up against Real, as this is the perfect match to get back on track.
There is a big sub-plot to this game, as Real Madrid head coach Manuel Pellegrini returns to Villarreal to play against a squad that he had a big hand in making a solid force in Spain and Europe. We all know about all the big-name players that came to Madrid in the off-season, but Pellegrini has been playing a solid rotation of players no matter who they are. Real has still not hit their stride, but they are still undefeated in La Liga. Cristiano Ronaldo has had a great start of the season and he has been everything that Real has asked for and more.
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Currently Real Madrid is in a 3-way tie with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona with 9 points while Villarreal sits near the bottom of the league table with only 2 points. Real has scored 11 goals and only given up 3 and Villarreal has only scored 4 goals and given up 5 goals this season.
Even though Real Madrid is the away team they are favored in this match posted at 1.60 with Villarreal posted at 5.50 and a draw at 3.85.
Villarreal Recent Form:
9/20/2009 Athletic Bilbao 3 Villarreal 2 (La Liga)
9/17/2009 Villarreal 1 Rapid Vienna 0 (Europa League)
9/13/2009 Villarreal 1 Mallorca 1 (La Liga)
8/30/2009 Osasuna 1 Villarreal 1 (La Liga)
8/27/2009 Villarreal 6 NAC Breda 1 (Europa League)
Real Madrid Recent Form:
9/20/2009 Real Madrid 5 Xerez 0 (La Liga)
9/15/2009 FC Zurich 2 Real Madrid 5 (Champions League)
9/12/2009 Espanyol 0 Real Madrid 3 (La Liga)
8/29/2009 Real Madrid 3 Deportivo 2 (La Liga)
8/25/2009 Real Madrid 4 Rosenborg 0 (Friendly)
Marcos Senna is most likely out for this match due to injury and that really hurts the midfield of Villarreal. Striker Nilmar hurt his ribs in Villareal’s last match and he may miss this one and Ariel Ibagaza will not play because of injury.
Xabi Alonso may miss this match, as he was injured in Real’s last Champions League match and striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is still out for another 6 weeks. Defenders Christoph Metzelder and Alvaro Arbeloa are also out and will not play in this match due to injuries.
Villarreal made a big splash by signing Nilmar in the off-season, but he has not played much this season, but that may change if the squad continues to struggle.
Villarreal GK Diego Lopez has been solid so far this season, but he will have to have a great match since Real is loaded with strikers that are no strangers to finding the back of the net.
MF Santi Cazorla has already scored 2 goals this season for Villarreal and the home squad will need his offense in this match and he also has to keep Real from controlling the midfield.
Karim Benzema may have snapped out of his offensive slump in Real’s last match with his first goal of the season, which is not a good thing for Villarreal, as they have to deal with yet another solid goal-scorer.
The Villarreal defense has to have a solid game, but marking Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and Karim Benzema will be tough so it will take a total team effort on defense to keep Real from scoring.
Real plays an attacking game and Villarreal has to counter attack any chance they get.
Jason’s Pick: Even though Villarreal is a solid team at home they simply do not have the quality of players that Real Madrid has. Real should control the midfield all game and have many opportunities to score, as I see them beating Villarreal by a score of 3-0 or 3-1.