The stage is set for celebrations in Madrid on Thursday. A win against Villarreal and Barcelona are going to be out of options in La Liga. If Barcelona draws against Osasuna, then all Real Madrid will need is to draw as well. However, a Barcelona win would put the pressure back on Real Madrid, and they’ll need to win to clinch the league.
Zidane has made it clear that this race isn’t done yet. If Real Madrid are not focused they could easily lose La Liga. Villarreal aren’t a bad team at all, as they try to protect 5th on the table. They have a 3-point advantage on Getafe going into Thursday.
If Barcelona and Real Madrid were playing at different times today, then I’d be a bit cautious about betting either match. Real Madrid would possibly lay off and just play for a draw if that’s all they needed. Conversely, Barcelona may not care if Real Madrid won earlier in the day.
This isn’t going to be a problem with Barcelona and Real Madrid playing at the same time. Barcelona has a more winnable match against Osasuna today, so Zidane is right, his squad cannot get ahead of themselves and celebrate too early.
Barcelona has another winnable match to close out the season on Sunday against Alaves. That should be 6 points for Barca. Real Madrid does have a winnable match against Leganes next week, but anything can happen on the road. Nobody is going to beat Zidane’s club if they stay focused. They’ve been in terrific form and haven’t lost since returning following the lockdown.
Real Madrid are 9-0-0 as they’ve collected every point possible. This hasn’t looked like a team that sat on the couch and did nothing during the pause in the season. It took Barcelona a minute to wake up, but Real Madrid were flying right out of the gates.
That could be the difference between the La Liga title or not. Zidane will be without Marcelo and Nacho again, but an otherwise healthy roster to choose from today. Head below for our free Real Madrid vs. Villarreal pick for July 16, 2020 in La Liga.
Real Madrid vs. Villarreal La Liga Betting Odds:
Real Madrid vs. Villarreal Prediction:
Karim Benzema has been a force this season for Real Madrid. He typically doesn’t get the support he deserves, but people are finding it hard to ignore Benzema for Real Madrid in 2020. He’s been the catalyst for this team, especially after the break, though there is so much credit to go around for Madrid this season. Overall on the season, Real Madrid has a goal differential of +83 for the best mark in La Liga.
Since coming back to play, they’ve added to that with +14 goals. Real Madrid were without Sergio Ramos against Alaves, but he returned against Granada, and will be active today for this potential La Liga clinching match. Along with Ramos, Dani Carvajal made his return to the pitch on Monday. Eden Hazard has been bothered by an ankle injury recently, but is scheduled to make an appearance in the starting lineup on Thursday. That isn’t good news for Villarreal.
Real Madrid has been unbreakable at home. They have scored 2.11 goals per match and conceded 0.56 goals per match in the 2019-20 La Liga season at home. Real Madrid get ahead and then put the clamps down on their opponents. Even without a fully healthy defence, they’ve been excelling at clearing the ball and extinguishing any dangerous scoring chances. Villarreal are capable in offering some resistance Thursday, but it likely won’t be enough in the end. Real Madrid is just too locked in at the moment.
Villarreal is scoring 1.39 goals per match on the road in 2019-20. I think they’ll have enough in them to find the back of the net once, though beyond that is going to be difficult. Real Madrid hasn’t conceded more than a goal in a match since March 8 before the shutdown. That was a wake up call against Real Betis, as they’ve allowed an average of 0.33 goals per match since. This will be closer than the 4-1 win for Barca over Villarreal on July 5, though Madrid should have full control of this one. Real Madrid likely see a 2-1 or 3-1 win Thursday to clinch La Liga with the championship.