Los Blancos are four points clear of second-placed Barcelona going into the penultimate matchday in the Spanish top flight, so a win over Villarreal will be enough to wrap up their 34th title. It would cap off what has been a remarkable return to action for Real Madrid, who have won their past nine games, a run that saw them leapfrog Barcelona and take control of the title race.
While a win on Thursday will guarantee the title, Real Madrid could still be crowned champions with a draw against Villarreal should Barcelona drop points at home to Osasuna – with the matches taking place at the same time.
But Los Blancos face a Villarreal side still with something to fight for, looking to keep hold of their Europa League group stage spot. The Yellow Submarine are currently fifth but sit three points ahead of Getafe and Real Sociedad, and will want to avoid being drawn into a head-to-head tiebreaker with both sides – which would see them drop below Getafe.
Where to watch Real Madrid vs Villarreal on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports
- US: bEIN SPORTS
Where to live stream the game:
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Real Madrid & Villarreal’s previous line-ups:
- Real Madrid (vs Granada): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Modric, Isco; Benzema.
- Villarreal (vs Real Sociedad): Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Moreno; Trigueros, Zambo Anguissa; Gomez, Cazorla, Ontiveros; Nino.
Neither side has any fresh absentees but both could be tempted to rotate slightly, having played on Monday.
Player to watch:
Although Real Madrid put themselves on the brink of their first La Liga title since 2017 with a 2-1 win over Granada on Monday evening, the performance did not please captain Sergio Ramos.
Over the years, at the heart of Real Madrid’s defence, Ramos has set the level at which the rest of the squad needs to compete – never giving an inch to his opponents or losing any of his competitiveness. Since La Liga returned in June, Ramos has been at his peak, leading Real Madrid to what will be a 34th title – barring disaster. The Spaniard has scored five goals, the same as forward Karim Benzema and bettered only by Raul Garcia among the rest of the league.
But against Granada, Ramos was unhappy with his side conceding, having looked comfortable with a 2-0 lead.
“Without realising it, we made the mistake of letting our guard down after getting a scoreline which we would have been very happy with,” he said.
“But it wasn’t good enough and today you can’t be anyone unless you are fully focused for 90 minutes. We won the first half and lost the second and although we got the victory we did things we should never do, like conceding a cheap goal.”
However, Ramos was also quick to move on from the win, setting his eyes on lifting the title at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano – also hailing Real Madrid’s turnaround during and after lockdown.
“Winning the league would mean a lot to us, it would be the reward for the consistency we have shown and for how hard we have worked throughout the year,” he added.
“The lockdown served us well and proved to be a turning point as we worked on preparing to return to action and set ourselves the objective of winning the title.
“Now we are in the title fight and I hope that on Thursday we can celebrate it properly.”
Scoreline prediction: Real Madrid 2-0 Villarreal
Real Madrid vs Villarreal: Betting offer
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La Liga 2019/20 recent form:
- Real Madrid: WWWWW
- Villarreal: WWLWL