Real Madrid vs Villareal Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview
Real Madrid, by their standards, are officially in full crisis. They find themselves 16 points off the pace in La Liga and in current form would not even be certain of a spot in the Champions League next season.
Game: Real Madrid vs Villareal
Venue: Bernabeu Stadium
Kick-off: Saturday, 13th January, 3.15pm
Cristiano Ronaldo has just four goals in 13 La Liga games, Karim Benzema is far from in favour and Gonzalo Higuain is a sweet but distant memory. Gareth Bale did his best to turn things around last weekend, but Madrid were guilty of dropping yet more points as they drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo.
But for now it has to be business as usual. A win here whilst Barcelona face a tough trip to Sociedad, followed by a key game in hand, and the gap could become 10 points with a game against Barcelona to play. It’s still an unheard of and a probably irretrievable gap in La Liga terms, but it does highlight the gap come the end of the season should be nowhere near as drastic.
Villarreal could well be more than mere spectators here though. Madrid have struggled all season long to be as ruthless as we’re used to. Villareal have avoided defeat in 12 of their 16 games, although rarely on their travels to the big two have they provided more than a stubborn rearguard that is eventually breached.
Real Madrid are natural favourites at odds of 2/9 with Betfair whilst the draw is available at best odds 11/2 with Stan James. Villareal have never won at the Bernabeu and so odds of 11/1 still don’t tempt despite Real Madrid’s form.
You can state a clear case that the divide between the two sides may be less than in previous meetings. Villareal finished 16 points behind eventual title winners Madrid the last time they beat them (2007), but could close the gap to one point at the halfway stage here. But it feels like Madrid’s run can’t get any worse than it has, and low scoring Villareal seem unlikely to get their first ever win here. That said, Madrid haven’t even averaged two goals a game this season, and Villareal boasts a mean defence. You’d expect Madrid to edge it but perhaps not much else.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Villareal +2AH at 5/6 with Stan James
Cristiano Ronaldo’s absences and inconsistency are always going to have an effect on Madrid. They have little options in his absence given that Gareth Bale has also been sidelined, and even a brace from the Welshman wasn’t enough on Sunday as Ronaldo was again wasteful. Villareal don’t give away that many chances home or away.
Back our Score Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 at 17/2 with Bet365
Cristiano Ronaldo is the obvious prediction anytime Real Madrid take to the pitch. His nine Champions League goals suggest he’s far from done putting the ball in the net for Madrid, but for a number of reasons it hasn’t happened domestically. Four in 13 doesn’t justify odds of 2/5. With Benzema on his way, Madrid are in no position to be shifting Gareth Bale right now and he could add to his two goals against Celta Vigo.
Back our Scorer Prediction: Gareth Bale at 16/19 with Bet365