Preview - Villareal vs Real Madrid 20 May 2018

Started by Harry85, May 19, 2018, 07:12 AM

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Match Day 38
Villareal vs Real Madrid
Sunday, May 20th, 2018
03:45am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Estadio de la CerĂ¡mica

Last five matches form: W W W L W
Average goals per match: 1.49
Average goals against per match: 1.30
Top Scorer: Carlos Bacca (15)

Real Madrid:
Last five matches form: W D D L W
Average goals per match: 2.49
Average goals against per match: 1.14
Top Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (25)

An unusual final weekend in La Liga, with the winners, Champions League places, Europa League positions and relegated sides all already determined before the last round of games kick off.

Pick of the bunch from an entertainment perspective may well come at the Stadio de la CerĂ¡mica as Real Madrid come calling to take on Villareal.

It is still possible for Real Madrid to overhaul big rivals Atletico and finish second in La Liga, but in order to do so not only would they need to win here, Atletico would also have to lose at home to lowly Eibar on the final day.

Villareal meanwhile will definitely finish either fifth or sixth and so are guaranteed their place in next seasons Europa League already. The visit of Real often seems to act as a motivating factor for sides however and the Yellow Submarines seem likely to be up for this one.

Ramiro Guerra and Bruno Soriano are out for the home side.

Real Madrid have no injury concerns, but with nothing of real significance at stake and the Champions League final on the horizon, we would expect Zidane to rest most, if not all, of his first choice eleven.

Having upset Real at the Bernabeu earlier in the campaign, many would fancy Villareal's chance against a full-strength Madrid eleven. Coming up against what is likely to be close to a second string they can therefore be expected to come out on top.

Prediction: Villareal 2 - 1 Real Madrid


Half time: 0 - 2
Full time: 2 - 2
Shots:  14 - 15
Shots on target: 5 - 7
Corner Kicks: 4 - 5
Possession: 39% - 61%

Seven yellow cards dished out in all by referee Jose Sanchez in this one. Alvaro Gonzalez, Samuel Castillejo, Roger Martinez and Salem Al-Dawsari being booked for Villarreal, and Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos having their names taken for Real Madrid.

Rather than use this game to rest key players as anticipated, Zinedine Zidane instead put out what was very close to a first choice staring eleven, with Luca Zidane starting in goal the only player unlikely to start next week's Champions League final.

Playing the big guns seemed to pay off early as Real quickly established a two-goal cushion in the game.

It was Gareth Bale who got the ball rolling in the eleventh minute. The Welshman capitalising on hesitation in the Villarreal defence to pinch the ball on the edge of the area, before cutting inside to fire into the bottom left corner.

The second came in the 32nd minute. A lovely outside of the foot cross from Marcelo on the left finding the head of Cristiano Ronaldo around six yards from goal. No mistake from the Portuguese who headed into the bottom right corner. 0-2 at half time.

The home side began to pour on the pressure in the second half and got one back in the 70th minute. Roger Martinez receiving the ball in the left-hand side of the 18-yard box, before cutting back inside and firing a beauty into the top right corner.

The equaliser came in the 85th minute, and keeper Luca "son of Zinedine" Zidane, didn't cover himself in glory here. Racing out to try and intercept a through ball, he instead only flapped at it, allowing Samuel Castillejo to move past him and tap in. 2-2 final score.

Having needed to win in order to have any chance of overhauling Atletico Madrid in the race to be second, this draw sees Real Madrid end the 2017/18 La Liga campaign in 3rd place.

Villarreal hold off Real Betis to finish a very respectable fifth and head into the Europa League next season.

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