Real Madrid vs Villarreal Preview: Los Blancos look to get back on...

Real Madrid vs Villarreal Preview: Los Blancos look to get back on track in La Liga


Although they secured a comfortable 3-0 over Atletico de Madrid in the Copa del Rey earlier this week, Real Madrid will be looking to get back on track in La Liga, have lost ground on their city rivals last weekend.

Los Blancos were held to a 1-1 draw away at Athletic Bilbao, while Atletico thumped Real Sociedad 4-0 to move three points clear of Barcelona and Real.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men go into tonight’s fixture without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo who serves the first of a three-match ban for his sending off last weekend. But Madrid welcome back Gareth Bale from injury, while Jese has been in fine form in recent weeks.

Diego Lopez will return in goal for the hosts, while Ancelotti hinted in his press conference on Friday that he may rotate the team a bit to keep some of his players fresh for other more challenging fixtures that lie ahead. Carvajal should take over from Arbeloa at right-back and Marcelo will come back into the side ahead of Coentrao.

Although they are fifth in the table, Villarreal are inconsistent on the road. Indeed, they haven’t managed to put two wins on the trot since August. Manager Marcelino has said his team will look to attack Real, but will have to do so without their inspirational number 10 Cani.

Probable line ups:Real Madrid: Lopez (GK); Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Alonso, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Jese

Villarreal: Asenjo (GK); Mario, Paulista, Dorado, Jaume Costa; Aquino, Trigueros, Bruno, Gomez; Dos Santos, Perbet