Villarreal vs Valencia - Predictions, Betting Odds & Top Picks
- Both teams are locked in a battle to qualify for next season’s Europa League
- Villarreal still have an outside chance of the top four but cannot afford many more slip-ups
- Villarreal’s recent form and Valencia’s away record point to a home win in this one
|What||Villarreal vs Valencia|
|Where||El Madrigal, Villarreal, Spain|
|When||Sunday, 28 June 2020, 11 AM EST|
|How to watch||beIN SPORTS|
The games continue to come thick and fast in La Liga, with each of the division’s 20 teams being forced to play 11 matches in the space of around five weeks. Such a hectic fixture list brings challenges of its own, and some sides have adapted to the turbo-charged schedule better than others.
Villarreal is among the clubs that has handled things well. It has taken 10 points from the 12 available since the restart earlier this month, beating Celta Vigo, Real Mallorca and Granada before a creditable 2-2 draw with Sevilla last time out. That four-goal thriller was the first time the Yellow Submarine has conceded since March, having previously kept three clean sheets on the bounce.
Its recent run has moved Villarreal to within five points of fourth place. Sevilla remains the favorite to join Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in next season’s edition of the Champions League, but Villarreal’s form has renewed hope among the club’s supporters that it could return to Europe’s top table in 2020/21 after a nine-year absence.
Valencia would require a near-perfect end to the campaign to overhaul the seven-point gap currently separating it from the top four. A more realistic objective is a Europa League place; as things stand Valencia is one point adrift of Real Sociedad, which occupies the final qualification spot. If it is to get over the line, Los Che must improve its disappointing away record – starting with Sunday’s trip to El Madrigal.
Villarreal vs Valencia Odds
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Valencia has struggled on its travels throughout the campaign. It has won only three of its 15 matches away from Mestalla, with three draws and nine defeats putting it 15th in the away table. Valencia may have the third-strongest home record in the division but its form on its own patch might not be enough to secure a top-seven finish.
It is true that the absence of supporters has reduced home advantage in many cases, but Valencia has lost 3-0 at Real Madrid and 1-0 at Eibar since the resumption. Its problems on the road could easily continue here – back an in-form Villarreal team to emerge victorious.
Villarreal Has Hit the Ground Running but Tough Fixtures Await
The break came at a good time for Villarreal, which had started to run out of steam in March. An excellent run around the turn of the year had lifted Javier Calleja’s side from 13th place to sixth, but its final three games before the season was put on hold all ended in defeat.
Yet Villarreal has now put that run behind it and climbed back into the top six. Its five goals since the campaign got back under way have been scored by five different players, something that shows the variety of attacking weapons at Calleja’s disposal. Gerard Moreno is enjoying an excellent season up top, while Santi Cazorla’s remarkable rejuvenation – his career looked to be over at Arsenal – has been a sight to behold as the veteran midfielder continues to roll back the years.
Villarreal should not get too carried away, though, particularly as its remaining fixtures look daunting. As well as fellow European contenders Getafe and Real Sociedad, the Yellow Submarine must face Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Valencia Is La Liga’s Answer to Jekyll and Hyde – and It Could Prove Costly
As we have already established, Valencia’s away record does not exactly inspire confidence. Even Espanyol, the team propping up the La Liga table, has taken more points on the road than the six-time Spanish champion, and there has been little in the way of improvement since Albert Celades replaced Marcelino in the dugout in September.
Valencia is still awaiting its first away win of 2020, having failed to triumph away from Mestalla since a 4-2 victory over Leganes in December. It has kept just one clean sheet on its travels all season, making it difficult to envisage Valencia shutting out Villarreal on Sunday.
An empty Madrigal is patently not as daunting as a full one would be, yet Valencia was dismal in its 1-0 defeat by Eibar in midweek, recording an xG of just 0.36 against a team battling against relegation.
Villarreal Could Benefit From Fresher Legs After Six Days’ Rest
Another factor to take into account here is the difference in preparation time. Villarreal last played six days ago, at home to Sevilla. Valencia, meanwhile, was in action as recently as Thursday, when it went down to Eibar.
This is significant in two ways. First, Villarreal’s players should be physically sharper and fresher, which means we can expect to see them take the initiative.
Secondly, the club’s coaching staff have had much more time to work on a strategy for this match than their counterparts at Valencia, who will have had little time to work with the players on a specific game plan. Both factors play into Villarreal’s hands.
Back Villarreal to win here – Valencia is a poor traveler and Calleja’s charges have found form at just the right time.