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Villarreal-Real Madrid PREVIEW: lots of changes for both sides

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Our last match of the season!!

Real Madrid v Villarreal - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Villarreal host Real Madrid at the Ceramica; it’s our last match of the season but Madrid have this little matter of a Champions League final the following Saturday. For Villarreal, it would of course be wonderful to do the double against Madrid, something they’ve never done; our last victory against the merengues in Vila-real was in December 2015, 1-0 courtesy of a Soldado goal (you can read what we said about that here, and see who our MOTM was—we should start those polls up again next season!)

Apart from that, Villarreal are playing for fifth rather than sixth, which has some financial implications with TV money, EL TV money, and whatnot, and...well, our points since returning to the Primera have been 59, 60, 64, and 67, so ending up with 63 again would be nice!

Madrid will finish third (Atleti winning the head-to-head) regardless of how Atleti do on Sunday, so for them it’s really more of a tuneup against a good opponent than anything else. There will probably be a lot of rotations, too; Cristiano, Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Keylor Navas all may be rested, but that simply means guys like Borja Mayoral will be keen to make an impression.

Villarreal aren’t taking this one too seriously either, with players like Bacca, Asenjo and Trigueros all being rested.

Prediction: I think how we approach this match may depend a bit on the Leganés-Betis result, to be honest. I’m hoping Lega can win at home, in which case we won’t have any pressure either and can enjoy the moment. I’m sure Madrid will score against us, I expect we’ll score against them too. 2-2 draw.