Villarreal v Real Madrid – Rafa’s Real back in contention

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Villarreal v Real Madrid – Rafa’s Real back in contention

The Galactico’s are in action on Sunday night against Villarreal with Rafa Benitez’s men on a hot run of form that has put them back in contention for La Liga. It’s a big game for Benitez whose side sit third behind fierce rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid thanks to five back-to-back wins following the bleakness immediately after the 4-0 Clasico humiliation by the Catalans. Madrid have not lost to Villarreal in the last ten encounters – with seven wins and three draws. Their last match against Villarreal was a surprise 1-1 at the Bernabeu when the visitors equalised to claim a share of the points – Gerard Moreno cancelling out Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike – so online football tipsters may think another upset could be on the cards this time out.


But Villarreal have just one win in their last five domestic outings whilst Real are in sparkling form and hit a new peak during the week when they hammered Sweden’s Malmo 8-0 in the Champions League. Ronaldo bagged four and Karim Benzema got a hat trick in the rout as Los Blancos made it 21 goals scored in their last five games.


Villarreal’s early form has dipped in recent weeks – they reached unprecedented heights by topping La Liga for the first time in their history earlier this season but since have tailed off and they now sit fifth in La Liga on 24 points – six behind Real. Cedric Bakambu poses the main threat up front for Villarreal and the Congolese striker will be hungry to further boost his growing reputation and add to the six goals from 11 games hit so far this campaign. Bakambu and his team mates will try to take advantage of Real Madrid’s off field problems with Los Meringues this week expelled from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player in the competition.


Real are to appeal the decision by the Spanish Football Federation to award Cadiz the win after ruling that Real wrong to have played Denis Cheryshev in their side. The Russian was supposed to have been serving a suspension but was named, played and scored the opener against Cadiz in Real’s 3-1 win. The most famous and biggest club in world football insist they were not informed their player was suspended, and released a statement, saying: Real Madrid CF has received and analysed the resolution of the Appeals Committee, which once again verifies that the player Denis Cheryshev was not notified of his ban, the only way the aforementioned ban can take effect. “The club has therefore submitted an appeal to the Administrative Court for Sport.” Complicating matters was Benitez’s decision at halftime to substitute Cheryshev after becoming aware the Russian should have been sitting in the stands – a move Benitez said was to “show good faith” after they became aware he should not have been playing. Cheryshev moved to Real from Villarreal adding another dimension to Sunday’s match for football tipsters to ponder.

By: Joe Cahal