Villarreal vs Real Madrid Prediction: Consider these anytime goalscorers

 | Saturday 18th May 2024, 17:43pm

Saturday 18th May 2024, 17:43pm

Mark Sochon's La Liga Tips

La Liga champions Real Madrid travel to Villarreal on Sunday (18:00) with just a couple of weeks left in the season.

Our Spanish football expert Mark Sochon reckons there will be plenty of goals and hence his Villarreal vs Real Madrid prediction features a couple of anytime scorers. 

Villarreal vs Real Madrid Tips

  • Alexander Sørloth to score anytime @ 11/8
  • Arda Güler to score anytime @ 11/5

Real Madrid travel to the Estadio de la Cerámica bidding to extend a nine-game winning streak in domestic action, but they will be expecting one of their toughest league assignments of the campaign against a Villarreal side that has been one of the best in Spain in 2024.

Los Blancos are two wins away from a 99-point season which would mark their second highest ever total. Only Jose Mourinho’s 2011/12 title winners have hit three figures and while that’s beyond the reach of the class of 2024, this could still go down as one of the club’s best ever seasons.

That’s dependent on what happens in two weeks at Wembley of course. These final league fixtures are mostly about maintaining momentum and keeping players ticking over as far as Carlo Ancelotti is concerned and he’ll be very happy with how that is going so far.

Since clinching the title, there has been no evidence of a drop-off whatsoever from Real Madrid. They beat Granada 4-0 away using mostly their back-up players and then hammered Alavés 5-0 with the stars returning in midweek.

Jude Bellingham opened the scoring to move onto 19 for the season in La Liga, just one shy of Girona’s Artem Dovbyk who leads the Pichichi race. There was also a brace for Vinicius Junior in the rout of the Basque side, but the scoreline didn’t tell the entire story with Thibaut Courtois required to make 10 saves with Alavés asking plenty of questions of their own.

Ancelotti would have been delighted to see his goalkeeper looking so sharp after an injury-ravaged season with the performance all but confirming that it will be the Belgian and not Andriy Lunin who gets the nod against Borussia Dortmund in London.

Villarreal can take some encouragement from how easily Alavés caused problems for Real Madrid in that game. They are likely to be up against what on paper will be a weaker starting eleven too and the Yellow Submarine have every incentive to look to play on the front foot and chase the win.

They still have an outside shot of qualifying for Europe but must win their final two games to have any chance. Even then they’d need favours elsewhere, but it’s not impossible and would cap a remarkable upturn in their fortunes in the second half of the campaign.

Villarreal were 15th back in January having already sacked two coaches. A 5-3 win at Barcelona on matchday 22 was the catalyst for a much improved run and an unlikely late dash for European football.

Starting with the victory at the Estadi Olímpic, they’ve won nine out of 15 in La Liga, losing just twice. Perhaps ominously for Real Madrid’s chances of ending this season with just one league defeat, that run has seen Marcelino’s men defeat four teams who are currently in European places with the latest being their 1-0 victory at Girona in midweek with January signing Bertrand Traoré firing in the only goal.

Key to their turnaround has been the sensational form of Norwegian striker Alexander Sørloth. The 28 year old has scored 12 times over that 15 game period and is now level with Bellingham on 19 goals in the race to be La Liga’s top scorer.

Team News

Real Madrid are expected to ring the changes again with a return to what might be viewed as the “B team” here. That hasn’t exactly been a problem with Ancelotti’s fringe players delivering three wins to nil in the league over the past month, but this will be a tougher game than recent clashes with Granada and Cádiz.

That means Brahim Díaz, Joselu and Arda Güler should form the front three again with Luka Modrić and Dani Ceballos expected to provide the creativity in midfield. Antonio Rüdiger may be one of the few regulars to start while Andriy Lunin is set to return in goal. David Alaba and Aurélien Tchouaméni remain out injured.

As for Villarreal, they’ll be looking to go as strong as possible with European qualification to fight for, but they’re restricted by a number of issues. Álex Baena, who has registered more assists than any other player in La Liga this term, is suspended. The same goes for Kiko Femenia while Marcelino will be without the injured Juan Foyth, Yéremi Pino, Alfonso Pedraza and Denis Suárez.

Experienced central defender Raúl Albiol is a doubt but Gerard Moreno and Francis Coquelin have been passed fit following injuries of their own, although they may only be ready to take their places on the bench.

Villarreal vs Real Madrid Odds

Real Madrid are priced at 21/20 to win this game with Villarreal available at 11/5 while the Draw is at 3/1.

The expectation is certainly that it will produce goals with Both Teams to Score very short at 2/5 while Both Teams to Score 2 or More Goals is on offer at 9/4. You can also back Over 3.5 Goals at Evens.

If you see this being a bit tighter than many are expecting, punters may be tempted by odds of 12/5 for Real Madrid and Under 3.5 Goals while you can use the #PickYourPunt builder to back Double Chance - Villarreal or Draw and Under 4.5 Goals at 5/4.

What is effectively Real Madrid’s second eleven is yet to concede in three victories over the past few weeks and you can back Real Madrid to win to nil at 18/5.

With no Baena, Dani Parejo is likely to be the chief creative force for the hosts. He’s on offer at 3/1 to register an assist while you can back Luka Modric 1+ Assists at 11/4.

Alexander Sørloth to score anytime @ 11/8

This does look like a match that should serve up a few goals but it feels like there may be more value in the goalscorer markets than in some of the others and Alexander Sørloth is very much the man of the moment for Villarreal.

He has scored braces in each of his last two home games and has scored eight goals at the Estadio de la Cerámica in five appearances in all competitions since the start of March. The Norwegian will be supremely confident heading into this game as a result and he’ll be hungry to add to his tally as he targets the Pichichi Trophy. I’m backing Sørloth to score anytime.

Arda Güler to score anytime @ 11/5

Another player who is very much in form in front of goal is Real Madrid youngster Arda Güler. He came off the bench to score again in midweek and is expected to return to the starting lineup as Carlo Ancelotti rotates for this game.

Güler has spent much of his debut season in Spain on the sidelines due to injury but has been rewarded with game time in recent weeks and it looks like Los Blancos may have unearthed another gem. The Turkish teenager has scored four in his last six appearances and averages a goal every 71 minutes in La Liga this term. Given that, I like the look of Arda Güler to score anytime here.

Find more Football Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights

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