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Villarreal vs Real Madrid: World Champions face lacklustre hosts

Villarreal vs Real Madrid: World Champions face lacklustre hosts

Real Madrid will play their missed fixture against Villarreal on Thursday evening at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

Having missed the final round of La Liga in 2018 due to their participation and success in the Club World Cup, Madrid will now travel to face 18th place Villarreal.

The home side have won just three games this term so far and have recently sacked Javi Calleja, replacing him with Luis Garcia.

The former Getafe boss could not have asked for a bigger task to start 2019, but he is unbeaten in his opening two games, guiding the Yellow Submarine past Spartak Moscow in the Europa League and drawing with Huesca.

Madrid will now that Garcia and Villarreal will be looking for a much needed three points as they look to steer away from the relegation places, sitting one point off safety.

Approaching the game, Santi Solari’s Los Blancos arrive in full confidence, having wont he Club World Cup with ease.

The highlight of that success was the return to form of Gareth Bale, who netted a hat-trick in the semi-final against Kashima Antlers.

Three points will see Madrid move back into third alongside Sevilla, but still some ground off second placed Atletico Madrid and league leaders, Barcelona.

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Team News

Villarreal have Bruno Soriano, Manuel Iturra, Miguelon and Mariano Barbosa all on the sideline through long term injuries, but none of those would be expected in Garcia’s eleven to face Madrid. Mario Gaspar is suspended, however.

Whilst, Madrid have no concerns and give Solari the chance to select from a fully fit squad.

Expected XI’s

Villarreal: Asenjo, Ruiz, Gonzalez, Funes, Costa, Chukwueze, Caseres, Trigueros, Fornals, Bacca, Moreno

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