Both Real Madrid and Villarreal will be looking for their first League victories of the new year when they go head to head on Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid are coming off a tense 2-2 draw against Numancia. In the League, they are currently placed fourth, albeit with an extra game in hand. They have 32 points to their name and are 16 points behind table toppers Barcelona.
Villarreal on the other hand, are 6 points on the table, only 4 points behind their next opponents. They’re coming off a narrow 2-1 victory over Leganes. They’ve won 8 games this season, drawing 4 and losing 6. They’re a point above seventh placed Eibar and a point behind fifth placed Sevilla.
Quite a number of changes are expected to the side that started in their 2-2 draw against Numancia and they are expected to revert back to their 4-3-1-2 formation. Keylor Navas is expected to come back into the starting XI ahead of Kiko Casilla.
Raphael Varane and Marcelo are expected to come back into the squad and join Nacho Fernandez and Dani Carvajal in defence. Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos are all expected to be dropped and Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos are expected to come into midfield.
The front three of Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio and Borja Mayoral are all expected to be benched as well. Isco is expected to come into the squad and start in a central attacking midfield role, with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line…