Champions-League chasing Villarreal are back in La Liga action this weekend as they host 8th placed Valencia at the Estadio de la Caramica in a battle of European hopefuls.
The hosts head into the game on 48 points and with an outside shot at a top-four finish. They remain unbeaten in their four games since after the restart and will be looking to continue on the fine run of form that has seen them steadily climb up the table.
Valencia meanwhile head into this tie with their European ambition hanging in the balance after a run of one win in the four games they have played since the restart. With seven games still to play, the visitors will be looking to get their European quest back on track with a win here.
Villarreal’s head coach Javier Calleja will have to make do without Manu Trigueros, and Alberto Moreno for as both will be serving their one-game ban for picking up five yellow cards for the season. Former Everton defender Funes Mori and Ramiro Guerra remain long-term injury absentees.
Francis Coquelin is an injury doubt for this tie, while Mouctar Diakhaby is still out with a calf injury. Meanwhile, Cristiano Piccini and Ezequiel Garay remain the only long term injury absentee for Albert Celades.
Head to Head
Valencia hold a superior head to head in this tie with four wins from the last four games between both teams. In that period, the away side scored ten times and conceded two, keeping two clean sheets in the process. Although two of those wins came in the Europa League, the last five La Liga games has seen both sides share two wins apiece, with a goalless draw sandwiched in-between.
Villarreal last five games in all competition: DWWWL
Valencia last five games in all competition: LWLDL
Villarreal head into this game on the back of a battling 2:2 draw with La Liga highfliers Sevilla. The “Yellow Submarines” will be looking to extend their unbeaten run since the restart to five games having won three consecutive matches before their most recent outing.
Javier Calleja’s boys remain in the hunt for a top-six finish and are fifth in the La Liga form table. They enter this tie with confidence and will be looking to add further goals to the 49 they have scored so far this season with only Barca and Real Madrid scoring more times than they have.
At home, the hosts average 1.93 goals in the league this season, and they have failed to score in just three of their La Liga games this season—two at home.
They remain one of the best starters to the game in the league this season with 14 first-half wins (D12, L5) and 20 goals.
However, they tend to concede a lot after the break, with 72% of their goals coming in the second period despite scoring more—29.
Valencia meanwhile head into the tie with just one win since the restart. Since March, their form has left much to be desired, making them one of the most off-form teams in the top half of the table. Their one nil loss to Eibar last time out was their second defeat since the restart.
“Los Murcelagos” have averaged just 1.0 goal per game in their last six games in the league the same as their host, but they have conceded two more than their hosts in that same period.
Only two of the last ten La Liga games between both teams have seen both teams score with one side keeping a clean sheet in eight of those ten meetings while two have ended goalless.
In that period, only one game featured over 3.5 goals, with the vast majority of their games seeing a scoreline of under 2.5.
Under 2.5 Goals @ 20/21
Villarreal to win both half @ 13/5
Both teams to score/No @ 5/4