Real Madrid and Villarreal square up in this first La Liga game of the year which was moved backwards because of Madrid’s participation in the Club World Cup.
Los Blancos won the Club World Cup with relative ease, however, they haven’t had the best of seasons domestically and their fans would be hoping that they can now kick start their domestic campaign in good form.
Madrid have played one game less than league leaders, Barcelona and the Catalans have an 8 points lead on them so only a win in this game would help their chances of catching up with Lionel Messi and Co.
This is Madrid’s third consecutive game against a relegation-threatened side and they have won their last two by a single goal.
Villarreal are also struggling this season. Having ended last season in a Europa League position, they are currently fighting relegation in the Spanish top flight and appointed a new manager last month.
Luis Garcia’s first game in charge was a 2-2 draw against Huesca and he has had more than three weeks to prepare for the second half of the season, so we expect to see a good performance from them here.