Real Madrid vs Villarreal - Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks

  • Madrid will win the La Liga title with victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday
  • Villarreal is certain of Europe but will want to hold onto fifth spot
  • Madrid would be a deserving champion and it should secure the prize here
What Real Madrid vs Villarreal
Where Santiago Bernabeu, Getafe, Spain
When Thursday, 16 July 2020, 3 PM EST
How to watch beIN SPORTS

Real Madrid’s run of five consecutive wins without conceding came to an end on Monday, but Zinedine Zidane will not mind. His team may have been unable to keep a clean sheet in its tussle with Granada, but a 2-1 victory restored its four-point lead at the summit of the standings. With two rounds of games remaining, Madrid needs only one more victory to make sure of the La Liga title.

Throughout the run-in Los Blancos have not blown any opponents away. This has been a carefully controlled end to the campaign in which Madrid has opted against taking any unnecessary risks, prioritizing points over plaudits as it searches for what would be only its third championship crown since 2008.

Madrid has won just one of its last five encounters by more than a single-goal margin, and that 2-0 triumph over Alaves was not exactly a blow-out either. It required late Sergio Ramos penalties to defeat both Athletic Club and Getafe, yet Madrid has also been the better team in all of its clashes since the restart – with the possible exception of Monday’s meeting with Granada, although its low expected goals rating (0.53) is partly a consequence of Madrid establishing a two-goal lead after 16 minutes.

Villarreal is a good side and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Madrid’s winning run will come to an end on Thursday. But even defeat would not be a disaster, as Zidane’s men know that success against Leganes on the final day would be enough for it to clinch the title. The way Madrid is going, though, it is difficult to see it being denied victory even by a Villarreal team that held it to a 2-2 drawback in September.

Real Madrid vs Villarreal Odds

Match winner and both teams to score Odds
Real Madrid and Yes +165
Real Madrid and No +160

Odds taken from BetMGM

Villarreal has the third-best attacking record in La Liga this season, and has scored only eight goals fewer than the champion-elect. It has found the back of the net in each of its last 10 games and has registered a blank in just one of its last 20.

With that in mind, the Yes option looks like the way to go despite Madrid’s solid defense. Ultimately, though, Villarreal is likely to suffer its 14th defeat of the campaign here.

Madrid Closing in on Deserved Title Triumph as Zidane Answers Critics

Much has changed since that aforementioned 2-2 draw, the third match of these teams’ seasons. That result at the Estadio de la Ceramica meant Madrid had failed to win two of its first three games, which led to the knives being sharpened at the Santiago Bernabeu. The standards at Madrid are impossibly high, and a failure to win either La Liga or the Champions League would have put even a manager with Zidane’s track record under pressure.

Madrid remained second favorites to finish on top of the pile as recently as matchday 27, when defeat by Real Betis meant it had only won one of its previous four games. Yet that was the point at which the season was put on hold, and it has been clear since the restart that Zidane used the lockdown to good effect.

The players deserve credit too. They have performed with a level of focus that has seen Madrid take 27 points from the last 27 available, knocking Barcelona off top spot in the process. Zidane is on the brink of winning the first major trophy of his second spell as manager.

Villarreal Has Also Enjoyed an Excellent Season After Last Term’s Disappointment

Villarreal has had an eventful time of things in the last 15 years. It began that period as a Champions League semi-finalist, only narrowly losing to Arsenal in the last four of the 2005/06 edition. Since then it has spent time in both Europe’s elite competition and the second tier of Spanish soccer.

Last season was a disappointing one for the Yellow Submarine, which finished in a lowly 14th position. It has bounced back this year, though, all but qualifying for the Europa League and on course to finish in the division’s top five.

Madrid Should Win Out but Another Clean Sheet Could Be Beyond It

Villarreal can afford to play without pressure here, as it would take an astonishing turn of events for it to finish outside the European qualification spots. As the underdog it will consider this game a free hit, and its attacking firepower means it is a dangerous opponent for Madrid to face.

Even so, Zidane’s side has passed every test since the restart and there is no reason why it will not do so again here, even if Villarreal will be harder to shut out than most of the teams it has faced in recent weeks.

Our Pick

Take the Real Madrid and Yes option here – Villarreal has a tremendous attack but that will not be enough to stop Zidane’s side getting the win it needs.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]