Real Madrid vs Villarreal Prediction: Jude back on song at Bernabeu

 | December 16 | 

6 mins read

real madrid santiago bernabeu scaled

Real Madrid and Villarreal were both 3-2 winners on the road in Europe in midweek and they return to Spain for a 20:00 kick-off on Sunday night for a game that’s live on Viaplay in the UK.

The last two meetings between these clubs have also ended in 3-2 scorelines in favour of the away team. Real Madrid fought back to win a Copa del Rey tie in January while Villarreal were brilliant on their last visit to the Santiago Bernabeu in April with Samuel Chukwueze scoring twice to claim three points in La Liga.

That seems quite a long time ago now from a Villarreal perspective though. Chukwueze has since moved to Milan while Pau Torres and Giovani Lo Celso, also starters in that game, are now Premier League players.

Villarreal have also sacked two coaches since their win here in April and now play a very different brand of football under Marcelino, so punters might be wise to not read too much into what happened eight months ago.

Real Madrid have an advantage in that they’ve had two extra days to prepare for this having played on Tuesday as opposed to Thursday night. Having already won their Champions League group, they were also in a better position to rotate for their trip to Berlin, although Carlo Ancelotti still opted to go quite strong.

His squad has been stretched to its limit by injuries, but they can be pretty happy with their efforts so far this season with six wins out of six in Europe and a five point advantage on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga, although they did surrender top spot to Girona after only drawing at Real Betis last weekend.

Jude Bellingham was again on target at the Benito Villamarin, bursting into the box before supplying a cool finish to open the scoring. However a draw was the most that Real Madrid really deserved from a competitive match that both sides came close to winning late on.

Back at the Bernabeu, they are much clearer favourites here against a Villarreal side that won their Europa League group in dramatic fashion with a VAR review 13 minutes into second-half stoppage time overturning what would have been a decisive Rennes equaliser.

The Europa League may now become a real priority for the Yellow Submarine as there’s not much to like about their league campaign. 16 points from 16 games is really poor by their standards and is a reflection on their decision to cash in on key players in the summer without signing adequate replacements.

Things have improved since Marcelino returned last month for his second spell in charge. However, their first league game against genuinely strong opposition since this latest change ended in a 3-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad last weekend.

Real Madrid vs Villarreal Betting Tips:

  • Real Madrid and under 3.5 goals @ 7/5
  • Jude Bellingham to score anytime @ 23/20

Team News

There is some good news at last for Real Madrid on the injury front with midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni declared fit and potentially in a position to get his first minutes since El Clasico at the end of October.

It may be January or February before we see Eduardo Camavinga, Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao and Vinicius Junior again, but five days on from their win in Berlin, there’s not really any great need to rotate for Ancelotti who may recall Andriy Lunin in goal after Kepa’s appearance in Germany.

The Villarreal lineup is certainly one to look out for. After a testing European trip on Thursday night and with a much more winnable league game at home to Celta Vigo on Wednesday, don’t rule out the possibility that Marcelino opts to keep some key men fresh by resting them here.

His options are quite limited in terms of rotation in some areas though with Juan Foyth, Santi Comesaña, Yeremi Pino and Denis Suarez out injured while Matteo Gabbia, Aissa Mandi and Francis Coquelin are also struggling and will be assessed ahead of the game.

Match Odds

Real Madrid are the clear 1/4 favourites to win and improve on a record that has only seen them drop two home points this season. The Draw is available at 11/2 while Villarreal can be backed at long odds of 9/1 to record a second win at the Bernabeu in 2023.

Real Madrid -1 Handicap is priced at 4/6, a winning bet in four of their seven home games this season in La Liga. Meanwhile if you fancy the Yellow Submarine to leave Madrid with a result again, Draw or Villarreal Double Chance is available at 11/4.

With no Vinicius, Ancelotti has Rodrygo, Joselu and Brahim Diaz as his main attacking options. Rodrygo is 4/1 to Score First and Evens to Score Anytime. Joselu will be hoping a midweek brace helps him keep his place for this one and the Spaniard is also 4/1 to Score First and Evens to Score Anytime.

Real Madrid and under 3.5 goals @ 7/5

Villarreal needed to chase victory on Thursday night which contributed to them being involved in another high scoring game, but we can expect something much more conservative from the visitors here.

Marcelino favours a counter attacking style of play and they’ll most likely be content to sit quite deep and look to strike on the break. Much like their last home game when Real Madrid beat struggling Granada 2-0, Los Blancos may have to be patient at times, although it’s very hard to see this Villarreal defence holding out for 90 minutes.

Los Blancos have the best defensive record in La Liga with Antonio Rudiger playing his best football since moving to Spain and with six of their last seven league games producing three or fewer goals in total, I’m backing Real Madrid and Under 3.5 Goals at 7/5.

Real Madrid & under 3.5 goals at 7-5

Jude Bellingham to score anytime @ 23/20

Jude Bellingham is averaging a goal every 104 minutes in all competitions for Real Madrid which is some going for a midfield player. He’s operated a bit deeper and wider at times in recent weeks but even that hasn’t resulted in the goals drying up.

The Englishman has adapted his game and currently seems capable of scoring all types of goals from instinctive close range finishes to long range rockets, while his strike at Betis last time out was a much more conventional goal that you might expect from a midfielder breaking into the box.

Backing Jude Bellingham to Score Anytime looks good again this weekend at 23/20.

Jude Bellingham to score anytime vs Villarreal at 23-10

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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