Villarreal vs Real Madrid LaLiga betting preview

Real Madrid return to action in LaLiga on Thursday with a tricky away match, they face Villarreal at Estadio de la Ceramica. Last season Villarreal managed to snatch a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in the home match, and that came after a shocking 1-0 victory for them at the Santiago Bernabeu a few months earlier. Overall, Villarreal have won two of the last six direct matches, and that's exactly how many Real Madrid managed to win as well. Moreover, Villarreal have managed to score in each of their last four matches against the Blancos, and that's something not many teams in the league have achieved in recent years.

Vilarreal are going through their worst season in years, they are in the relegation zone and it seems they might be heading towards Segunda Division after five consecutive top-six finishes in the Spanish top flight. They have won just three of their sixteen matches so far this season, and have only managed to score 17 goals. Their home form has been the most disappointing, they have won just one of their eight matches and lost four. However, they did hold Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 draw and have qualified for the first knockout round of the Europa League. Mario Gaspar is suspended for this match, while Bruno Soriano is injured.

Real Madrid have returned to Spain after a successful campaign at the Club World Cup, they defeated Kashima 3-1 and Al Ain 4-1 to claim the trophy in Abu Dhabi. That was just a distraction for them, though, their standing in LaLiga needs immediate improvement before they re-enter the stage in the Champions League in February. Their last LaLiga result was a narrow 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano, which left them fourth in the table, eight points behind leaders Barcelona but with a game in hand. Marcos Llorente and Marcos Asensio are injured and will be out for a few weeks.

Probable line-ups:

Villarreal: Aenjo - Layun, Ruiz, Gonzalez, Costa - Chukwueze, Fuego, Caseres, Fornals - Bacca, Moreno

Real Madrid: Courtois - Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo - Modric, Casemiro, Kroos - Vazquez, Benzema, Bale

My prediction: 1-1 draw, Villarreal will fight to the death for anything they can get out of this match.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Villarreal win - 4.20
Draw - 4.00
Real Madrid win - 1.75

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