Important match to decide the winner. Real Madrid’s La Liga championship defense will be on the line when they face Villarreal on Saturday evening in the final matchday of the 2020/21 season.
On Saturday, the curtain will finally come down on one of the most closely contested title races in recent La Liga history. As the title race comes down to the wire, current holders Real Madrid will need to win all three points against Villarreal at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Saturday. While praying that leaders Atletico Madrid lose points against Real Valladolid.
Although not losing any of their last 17 La Liga games, Real Madrid has been unable to profit from their rivals’ mistakes, with three draws in their previous seven games leaving them two points behind Atleti in the table. Zinedine Zidane’s side, on the other hand, has won back-to-back games against Granada and Athletic Bilbao and will be hungry for all three points on Saturday.
Villarreal, meanwhile, is in desperate need of a win as they try to finish in the top six. Unai Emery’s team is currently seventh in the table, a point behind Real Sociedad fifth and only a point behind sixth-placed Real Betis on head-to-head record. The Yellow Submarine is in terrific form heading into the game. Having won their last two games against Real Valladolid and Sevilla, and will attempt all in their power to finish sixth or higher.
In November of last year, the rematch resulted in a 1-1 stalemate, with Gerard Moreno canceled Mariano Diaz’s early goal. The Barcelona Agency takes a deeper look at both teams ahead of their most recent meeting. Which has a lot riding on it.
Team News & Tactics
Real Madrid has received a double injury boost. As crucial defenders, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos have recovered in time to play in the season’s final match. On the other hand, Eden Hazard is absent from manager Zinedine Zidane’s team due to recent fitness concerns. Toni Kroos is sidelined due to coronavirus, while Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal, and Ferland Mendy are hurt.
On Saturday, the hosts anticipated playing in a 4-3-3 shape, with Thibaut Courtois in goal a foregone conclusion. Alvaro Odriozola and youngster Miguel Gutierrez have played effectively in the full-back positions in recent outings. However, Ramos and Varane’s return makes it difficult for Zidane. As Nacho and Eder Militao have also been in unstoppable form.
As a result, all four players may start for Real Madrid, with Militao and Nacho filling in as full-backs to flank Varane and Ramos. Villarreal’s danger from the wide areas would reduce as a result of such a shift. Casemiro will play as the hosts’ holding midfielder, charged with blocking out the opposition’s attacks with the help of Federico Valverde.
Luka Modric, who has been in fine form in recent games against Granada and Athletic Bilbao. Will take up the third position in the middle of the park and attempt to provide the creative spark for Real Madrid in the future. Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior should be the two wingers who need to improve their end product to give the lone striker and star man Karim Benzema opportunities. Important match to decide the winner.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Militao, Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Meanwhile, Villarreal will be without midfielder Vicente Iborra and winger Samuel Chukwueze. Who slated to miss the match due to injury. However, there is some good news: Juan Foyth has recovered from his hamstring injury and has trained with the team, indicating that he may be available for the trip to the capital.
On Saturday evening, Unai Emery will field his team in a 4-4-2 configuration, with Sergio Asenjo’s goal. With Foyth back in the squad, he could get the nod at right-back, though the manager might alternatively go with Mario Gaspar. Raul Albiol, a former Real Madrid defender, and Pau Torres, a transfer target for Los Blancos, will line up at center-back, with Alfonso Pedraza at left-back. Important match to decide the winner.
Francis Coquelin, who came off the bench last time out, should start in midfield on Saturday. Where he will task with limiting Luka Modric’s influence. Dani Parejo will be his partner, and he will strive to generate opportunities for his attacking teammates. In the absence of Chukwueze, Manu Trigueros, who played central midfield last time out, should go to the right-wing, with Moi Gomez filling in on the left.
Gerard Moreno is sure to start in one of the top two positions. Paco Alcacer and Carlos Bacca are a toss-up for the second position, with the latter likely to receive the nod after his hat-trick against Sevilla in the previous game.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Asenjo; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Trigueros, Parejo, Coquelin, Gomez; Bacca, Moreno
- Real Madrid has not lost in any of their last 17 La Liga matches (W12 D5).
- In La Liga, Villarreal has lost 70% of their away games versus Real Madrid (P20 W1 D5 L14).
- Real Madrid has only won two of their last seven matches with Villarreal (D4 L1) in the Spanish top flight, with both of those victories coming at home.
- Villarreal has won both of its league games this season and has preserved a clean sheet in both of them. They last won three games in a row without conceding in June of 2020.
- In five of their previous six La Liga home encounters, Real Madrid has scored at least two goals.
Player to Watch
Karim Benzema has been Real Madrid’s go-to guy for the past three years, and a lot will be relying on his shoulders once again as the Merengues attempt to win all three points on Saturday. With a bit of help from Real Valladolid against Atletico Madrid. With 29 goals and eight assists in 45 appearances, the 33-year-old has been Los Blancos’ finest player this season. He recalled to the French national team after a six-year sabbatical.
On Saturday, however, he will face a Villarreal team that has maintained four clean sheets in their past five games in all competitions.
Benzema has a decent 7 goals and 3 assists in 16 outings against the Yellow Submarine. If Real Madrid is to retain their La Liga title, he will need to add to his total this weekend.
Real Madrid 1-0 Villarreal
At Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, it’s going to be a tense, close-fought match, with both defenses playing well recently. Given Villarreal’s terrible away record against them in La Liga, Real Madrid expected to have the tiniest of advantages. As a result, the Barcelona Agency predicts a narrow win for Zinedine Zidane’s side. Implying that their title ambitions will hinge on what happens at Estadio Jose Zorrilla between Real Valladolid and Atletico Madrid. Important match to decide the winner.