The Galacticos return to El Madrigal every year with more stars, but they never beat us hands down.
After recent fantastic displays against the former champions, fans will be expecting big things. Our star man often seems to be Cani cutting along the wings which is the way to attack Madrid.
Last year in both matches we were outdone by Gareth Bale. Many pundits are ranting and raving about the form of Ronaldo-- that is to be expected. But the Welsh man has been the nail in our coffin so far.
It may be that we have failed to beat Real in each of our last eight meetings. But last year we were leading the match in El Madrigal and we put our heart and soul into it. We will do the same this time around. The boss obviously agrees as he stated in an interview that he would not allow Madrid’s star men to get the opportunities.
"[Real] is a game that motivates us very much," he said. "But I will be annoyed if we allow them to keep up their scoring rate of their last three games."
``I hope they don't continue their current goal scoring form because if they do we will be in trouble.''
On a personal note, I am sceptical of their form. Our defence is stronger than theirs, despite our left back problems. Their attack is scary, don’t get me wrong but when it comes to Madrid their key danger men are Ronaldo and Bale. Which is to be expected on their wages.
There was a hope that Giovani dos Santos would be available. It would be great to see him back and knocking in free kicks like he did last time, but unfortunately he's not yet ready. Long term injuries to Jokic, Perez and Costa keep them out. We will be without Denis against his home club. I do feel Cani is more than capable, otherwise we do have Moi who can step in. As for the pivot it will be a tough task to decide, but I believe Marcelino will go with our previous successful pairing in Trigueros and Bruno.
The team selection (just announced):
- Juan Carlos y Asenjo.
- Mario, Rukavina, Adrián Marín (dorsal 28), Gabriel, Musacchio y Víctor Ruiz.
- Bruno, Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, Pina, Espinosa, Moi Gómez y Cani.
- Uche, Gerard Moreno y Vietto.
Luka Modric and striker Karim Benzema will both be back. Hernandez will be on the bench. He is a super sub. If he started it would be better. Defence-wise Pepe is out which depending on how you rate him could be key for us. They also have issues goal keeping-wise, despite Navas being strong between the sticks. Last year leaving out Casillas caused a lot of tension, and Ancelotti has said he will play against us. This may have an interesting effect.
My prediction is 2-1 to Villarreal. We are at home, we are in form and we can really hurt Madrid providing our defence is strong and the chances come our way