European champions Real Madrid are eager to continue their brilliant start to the season as they prepare to face Villarreal on Wednesday night. Zinedine Zidane’s men are coming off from a record-equalling stretch and will be looking to make an additional push towards winning the league which is Los Blancos’ top priority this year.
Having beaten Espanyol on Saturday, Real Madrid have officially tied La Liga longest winning streak ever set by Pep Guardiola and Barcelona in 2010-11 season. Zinedine Zidane’s side are coming off from 16 straight triumphs and will look to claim back the record Manchester City boss snatched from them, eclipsing Miguel Munoz, who held it before that. Los Blancos have enjoyed 200 days of nothing but victories in domestic competition, amassing a perfect record of 48 points over that time. The 2-0 win over Espanyol brought another record and an important milestone for Real Madrid family. Namely, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema together comprise the tally of no less than 300 goals for Real Madrid, which is bound to be a great incentive to head forth even stronger in the new season. There is plenty of room for optimism ahead of the Wednesday’s clash as Real Madrid have never lost a game against Yellow Submarine and will certainly hope to extend the positive trend beyond their forthcoming fixture.
Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are back in contention for the game, having missed the Espanyol clash at the weekend. Zinedine Zidane’s son Enzo joined the first team during the week, together with Martin Odegaard, but they are unlikely to feature versus Villarreal. Casemiro has picked up a knock and could be left out, while Nacho, Keylor Navas and Fabio Coentrao continue to miss out.
Villarreal on the rise
The turbulent times appear to be over for Villarreal, who have managed to recover from all sorts of problems that hit that earlier in the season. With their long-serving manager Marcelino accused of problems of honesty within Villarreal, club’s president decided to dismiss the head coach during summer, which came as a shock for the entire team. Marcelino conflicted with players and board, which opted to replace him with Fran Escriba. The season started poorly for the Yellow Submarine, who crashed out of the Champions League qualifiers and was forced to settle for Europa League place this season. Having lost to Monaco 3-1 on aggregate, Villarreal managed to bounce back and notch three consecutive wins in all competitions. Domestic wins over Malaga and Real Sociedad offered plenty of reassurance with Alexandre Pato in fine form, but the visitors are aware of their black record against Real Madrid and will have no hopes as they travel to Santiago Bernabeu.
Villarreal’s injury list is getting shorter, but manager Fran Escriba will still have to do without Cedric Bakambu, Daniele Bonera and Roberto Soldado, who are struggling with their respective injuries.
Real Madrid are in furious form and there is a huge gap in quality between the two sides to have us think of anything else other than hosts winning the game. Los Blancos boast incredible record against the Yellow Submarine and there is little chance they will suffer their first-ever defeat to Villarreal on Wednesday.
Top pick: Real Madrid/Real Madrid 1.75 (3/4) @Coral
Alternative pick 1: Real Madrid to win to Nil 2.05 (21/20) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Real Madrid to win both halves 2.40 (7/5) @PaddyPower