Villarreal will be hoping to take a big scalp on Thursday evening when they welcome Real Madrid to the Estadio de la Ceramica for a last-16 clash in the Copa del Rey.
The Yellow Submarine have never won this tournament – a run to the semi-finals in 2014/15 being their best performance – while Los Blancos are 19-time winners and sit third in the all-time standings.
Villarreal vs Real Madrid Betting Tips
Villarreal boss Quique Setien looks to have an issue at right-back following the injuries to both Juan Foyth and Kiko Femenia, so there is expected to be a change in personnel in that position.
There are also concerns over the availability of Giovani Lo Celso, Alfonso Pedraza and Nicolas Jackson, who all missed training on Monday, but Gerard Moreno is expected to be fit enough to start despite also being absent from that session.
One player unlikely to feature, potentially ever again for the club, is Arnaut Danjuma, who recently travelled to England to hold transfer talks with unnamed clubs and was an unused substitute last time out at Celta Vigo.
Real Madrid remain without Lucas Vazquez, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain, while Aurelien Tchouameni and David Alaba are both doubts after missing Sunday’s Supercopa de Espana final defeat to Barcelona.
Carlo Ancelotti may decide to freshen things up and this could present an opportunity for goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, while Rodrygo, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos are also in contention.
Villarreal to win and both teams to score @ 18/5
It has been a packed fixture schedule for Madrid since domestic action returned following the World Cup in Qatar, and Thursday’s encounter will be their sixth game in a 21-day period.
Los Blancos have only had four days to recover from the loss to Barcelona and the fact they have a tricky La Liga trip to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday could see them take one eye off the Copa del Rey – an event they last won in 2013/14.
Ancelotti’s side head to the Estadio de la Ceramica, a venue that wasn’t a happy hunting ground when they travelled there just 10 days ago, as they ended up losing 2-1 to Villarreal.
That was the Yellow Submarine’s sixth straight victory across all competitions and although they couldn’t extend that streak to seven last time out, as they were held 1-1 by Celta Vigo, there appears to be real confidence in the squad right now.
Villarreal have had extra time to prepare for this contest and there is the feeling they can get one over on Madrid for the second time in quick succession, although a clean sheet may not be on the cards given the fact Setien’s troops have failed to keep one since November 11.
Samuel Chukwueze to score anytime @ 16/5
Villarreal’s attacking play has improved over the past couple of months and a big reason for that has been the form of Samuel Chukwueze, who has been the club’s go-to player in the Copa del Rey.
The Nigeria international has netted three times in the competition – only three players have amassed higher tallies – and he looks to have the bit between his teeth.
Against a potentially changed and disjointed Madrid side, the 23-year-old will be enthused by the prospect of knocking Los Blancos out.
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