Real Madrid have failed to win in their last three visits to Villarreal, who can move to the summit of La Liga if they manage an upset victory over Zinedine Zidane’s men.
A home win in this fixture may not present the same level of surprise, however, given Real could be missing first-choice central defenders Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Both players suffered injuries while on international duty with Spain and France, respectively, giving their boss a potential selection headache in Week 10 of the league campaign.
Midfield anchor Federico Valverde may be considered an emergency option in defense if he’s deemed fit enough. Dani Carvajal could be a welcome addition at right-back following his own injury struggles, while Nacho looks likely to start despite having not played in more than a month:
The last three meetings between these teams in Villarreal have each ended at two goals apiece, but the hosts can hope to collect their first home win over Real since December 2015 following such a fast start under Unai Emery. The Yellow Submarine are one of three teams in La Liga yet to lose at home this term—though the only team undefeated after playing five home fixtures—their only loss in all competitions coming in the form of a 4-0 drubbing at the Camp Nou in September.
What TV Channel is Villarreal-Real Madrid on?
Villarreal have all the motivation they need to stage a surprise at home to Real Madrid, with beIN Sports’ broadcast set to kick off at 10:15 a.m. ET. You can live stream La Liga matches on fuboTV.
The pressure on Zidane’s shoulders is all the higher considering Real lost 4-1 at Valencia just prior to the international break, providing a blueprint of sorts for Emery to work from in Week 10. Papering over the cracks of his injury doubts in defense will be key for a team hoping to keep their place among La Liga’s top four, while Emery seeks to assert some early dominance in what could be a new-look Spanish hierarchy.
One major positive for Zidane is the return of Casemiro to training after he had previously tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in November. Eden Hazard and defender Eder Militao will be tested again having also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. Neither player has trained properly with the squad in the buildup to Saturday’s trip.
Villarreal will consider this a glaring opportunity to take their first win over Los Blancos since January 2018. Striker Paco Alcacer sits one goal off La Liga’s incumbent top scorer Mikel Oyarzabal after nine matches, closely followed by team-mate Gerard Moreno:
How to Watch Villarreal vs. Real Madrid
When: Saturday, November 21
Where: Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain
Time: 10:15 a.m. ET
TV: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
Zidane has lost only one of his eight meetings with the Yellow Submarine as a manager, but a slew of ill-timed injuries combined with Villarreal’s imperious form this season could see that figure double come Saturday.
Emery will face Real for the first time since March 2018 when he was still in charge of Paris Saint-Germain. This will be his 23rd encounter with the Madrid monolith overall, during which time he’s triumphed on only five occasions—twice with Sevilla, twice with Valencia, and once while at the helm of Almeria in 2008.
With La Liga’s top spot at stake for the home outfit, Emery will feel the special significance of this clash irrespective of the absences blighting his opponent.
On the other side of the dugout, Zidane’s rotation tactics will be put the ultimate test as he looks to call on a skeleton crew to steady his ship in defense in what will be a major test of both teams’ title credentials.