Villarreal Bruno Soriano
Villarreal will start as favourites against a struggling Malaga side. Reuters
Villarreal will start as favourites against a struggling Malaga side. Reuters
Villarreal will start as favourites against a struggling Malaga side. Reuters

Villarreal will be confident of extending their unbeaten streak when they host struggling Malaga in their La Liga game on Friday night.

The Yellow Submarine haven been in top form this season, and find themselves occupying a top-four position in their first campaign after promotion.

Villarreal are unbeaten in their last three games, which also included an impressive home draw against a rampant Atletico Madrid.

The newly-promoted side eased to a 3-0 win over Levante last weekend, and three points against Malaga on Friday will see them go four points clear of the rest of the top-four chasing pack.

"We are doing really well at the moment but we are not rushing anything," said Villarreal skipper Bruno Soriano, tipped for a Spain call-up.

"We are now just thinking of winning a game at home and taking three points. To think of anything else would be a huge mistake."

Malaga have endured a woeful start to the season so far, which sees them in 14th, just a point above the relegation zone. Bernd Schuster's men were topped 2-1 by Athletic Bilbao on Monday, making it two losses on the bounce.

The away side will want to get back to winning ways against Villarreal and striker Juanmi believes Malaga have shown signs of improvement, especially in the match against Bilbao, even if the result went against them, with the eventual winners hitting back with two goals in the second half.

"We were in control in that game but they took the reins in the second half," Juanmi, who scored the opening goal against Bilbao, said. "We are now concentrating on victory against Villarreal and turning this game around. We need to be more together than ever before and all pull together in the same direction.

"We have all spoken about the situation and are determined to win on Friday."

Villarreal are expected to welcome Giovani Dos Santos back into the fold after a couple of weeks out due to injury, and the Mexican international, if passed fit, will make the home side's attack even more potent.

Key men: Villarreal: Cani has been ramping up the assists for Villarreal this season, already with five, and the experienced midfielder will look to add to that tally come Friday.

Malaga: Willy Caballero might come under pressure from the Villarreal attack, with his side playing away from home, and the Malaga goalkeeper will need to be at his best to keep the scoring to a minimum.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 1 am IST start on Saturday early morning with live coverage on Star Sports HD1. You can also live stream the match online by clicking the official link HERE. To catch the action via live streaming in the U.S., click HERE. Viewers in North Africa and the Middle East can click HERE.

Expected lineups: Villarreal: Asenjo, Martinez, Musacchio, Paulista, Jokic, Cani, Perez, Trigueros, Bruno, Uche, Dos Santos.

Malaga: Caballero, Weligton, Antunes, Angeleri, Sanchez, Portillo, Tissone, Eliseu, Samuel, Darder, Juanmi.

Prediction: 2-1 to Villarreal