Real Madrid

Villarreal vs Real Madrid: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Grey Whitebloom
Real Madrid recorded their first 0-0 of the season against Villarreal in September
Real Madrid recorded their first 0-0 of the season against Villarreal in September / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Champions League chasing Villarreal host table-topping Real Madrid in La Liga on Saturday afternoon.

Unai Emery's hosts claimed the impressive scalp of high-flying Real Betis with a 2-0 win away from home last weekend. Madrid took advantage of Sevilla's slip up against Osasuna to pull six points clear atop La Liga but did lose their last game on unfamiliar turf.

Here's all you need to know about Saturday's enticing clash.

How to watch Villarreal vs Real Madrid on TV/live stream

When is kick off? Saturday 12 February, 15:15 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Estadio de la Ceramica
TV channel/live stream? LaLigaTV (UK), ESPN+ (US), TSN (Canada)
Highlights? La Liga YouTube
Referee? TBC

Villarreal team news

Gerard Moreno, Marc Bartra
Gerard Moreno (right) scored 23 league goals last season / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Gerard Moreno, a player who accounted for 38% of Villarreal's league goals last season, was forced off in the first half of the Yellow Submarine's weekend victory with a recurrence of the calf injury that has dogged the forward this term.

Sporadic substitute Ruben Pena (shoulder) and former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin (Achilles) are also set to be sidelined by fitness concerns.

Real Madrid team news

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has missed four of Madrid's six games in 2022 / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Vinicius Junior will be back from suspension after sitting out Madrid's 1-0 win over Granada last Sunday following an accumulation of yellow cards. His compatriot Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez also missed the hard-fought contest after the pair pulled out of the squad late with gastroenteritis. Though both could return this weekend.

Ferland Mendy is a doubt with a muscle injury while Mariano Diaz is nursing a hamstring issue. Karim Benzema suffered a micro-tear in that same area shortly before the international break and has struggled to complete training since.

Whether Carlo Ancelotti risks his leading scorer and provider of assists on the weekend before Madrid's Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain remains to be seen.

You can read Real Madrid's predicted lineup here.

Villarreal vs Real Madrid head-to-head record

Carlos Henrique Casemiro
Real Madrid and Villarreal recorded their first goalless draw against one another since August 2006 this season / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

The first ever La Liga match in Villarreal's history - which came as recently as 1998 - was against the mighty Real Madrid, three months after Los Blancos had been crowned European champions.

Gheorghe Craioveanu gave the Yellow Submarines a dream start with an unthinkable lead inside three minutes. But Raul led a fightback as the game eventually ended 4-1.

However, in recent years Villarreal have proven to be a frustrating obstacle in Madrid's path. El Submarino have taken points off Real in six of their last nine league meetings, including the 0-0 reverse fixture.

In fact, Madrid haven't won at Villarreal's Ceramica home ground for half a decade, last claiming victory by overturning a 2-0 deficit during Zinedine Zidane's first managerial spell in 2017.

Villarreal vs Real Madrid score prediction

Thanks to some unfortunate bounces of the ball - particularly during a sequence of five draws from their first six games - Villarreal's sixth-place league position isn't entirely reflective of a team with the division's third-best non-penalty expected goal difference (per FBref).

The fates, conversely, have smiled incredibly favourably on Real Madrid thus far, bolstering a title charge propelled by the squad's litany of talent. However, away to a team that may be beginning to back up their performances with results, Madrid may once again find it tough against Villarreal.

Prediction: Villarreal 1-1 Real Madrid