Real Madrid will be facing Villarreal at the Camp EL Madrigal on Sunday in a La Liga clash. Los Blancos are in superb form at this moment as they have won their last five fixtures across all competitions.
In the UEFA Champions League game against Malmo, they blasted eight goals in the midweek. Cristiano Ronaldo & Co will be looking to continue with their goal-scoring form against Villarreal.
Real Madrid have a golden opportunity to go past Atletico Madrid and inch closer to Barcelona in the La Liga points table if they manage to outplay Villarreal on Sunday evening.
Although Real Madrid head coach Rafa Benitez is not taking their opponents lightly, he is confident his side will able to put up yet another good performance when they will take on the likes of Villarreal.
"This is football and things change every week. The important thing is to carry on this run of good play and results that we must maintain. We have to really respect the opponents. I am really satisfied with the play, attitude and the result and I hope that the team will continue in the same direction," Rafa Benitez told reporters ahead of their clash against Villarreal on Sunday.
Villarreal have also remained unbeaten in their last five matches at EL Madrigal, but unfortunately their record against Los Blancos is not that great at all. Marcelino and his men have lost seven of their last 10 meetings with Real Madrid.
The coach is aware of the fact that Real Madrid is in great form right now and he fears a thrashing on Sunday evening. He feels Villarreal's defence has to be really strong in order to stop the likes of Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and others.
Fifth-placed Villarreal are coming into this game after a scintillating 3-3 draw at Viktoria Plzen in the Europa League. They would have gained somehwat confidence from that clash, but playing against Real Madrid will be a tough challenge anyway.
"I worry about our defensive balance because just scoring as many as possible to win games isn't sustainable. We must improve our defensive intensity because it's not at its maximum. If we defend like we did [on 10 December] against Real Madrid, it's likely that they'll put seven past us," Villareal head coach Marcelino told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
Villarreal will be without the services of Mario Gaspar, Leo Baptistao and Adrian, and that is not something fans would have loved to hear ahead of the Real Madrid clash.
On the other hand, Real Madrid will miss Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane. Sergio Ramos is expected to make a return if he has recovered completely from his shoulder injury. Marcelo will return at his favourite left back position against Villarreal on Sunday.
Villarreal: Areola; Rukavina, Bailly, Ruiz, Marin; Dos Santos, Soriano, Pina, Suarez; Bakambu, Soldado.
Real Madrid: Navas; Danilo, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, James; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Where to Watch Live
Villarreal vs Real Madrid is scheduled for a 8:30 pm CET (1 am IST, 8:30 pm BST, 2:30 pm ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Sony KIX. Viewers in India can also watch the match via live streaming online on Sony Liv.
Audience in UK can watch Villarreal vs Real Madrid live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1. The live streaming option will be available on Sky Go UK.
Football fans in Spain can catch Villarreal vs Real Madrid live on Abono Futbol 1and Movistar Futbol.
Audience in the USA, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa will be able to watch Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona live on Bein Sports, while the live stream option is on Bein Sports Connect.