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February 8, 2014 7:00 PM GMT
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ José González‎
Attendance:‬ 75624‎

Real Madrid-Villarreal Preview: Blancos without Ronaldo against Yellow Submarine

The Portuguese attacker begins his three-match suspension as Carlo Ancelotti's men look to bounce back from last weekend's dropped points

Karim Benzema Roberto Granada Real Madrid Liga BBVA
Real Madrid will be without leading goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo for Saturday's visit of Villarreal in La Liga due to suspension.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are in a three-horse race for the league title, placed third behind holders Barcelona and current leaders Atletico Madrid after only drawing with Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The dropped points were made worse when Ronaldo was sent off following an incident with Carlos Gurpegui 15 minutes from time.

Ronaldo's dismissal earned him a three-match ban, which will see him miss the visit of a side that have proven stubborn opposition for the Blancos in recent encounters.

Villarreal have denied Madrid wins in their last two meetings, drawing 1-1 in March 2012 thanks to an 83rd-minute Marcos Senna goal before Giovani dos Santos earned his side a 2-2 draw earlier this season with a goal 20 minutes from time.

Both those results came at the Camp El Madrigal and Madrid will be more confident ahead of Saturday's fixture given their recent record against Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

They have scored 13 times on Villarreal's last three visits, conceding four times, and Ancelotti will be eager to pile the pressure on Atletico and Barca, who play later on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Marcelino Garcia Toral's men have won three of their last five away games in La Liga and sit just three points off Athletic Bilbao, who occupy the final Champions League spot.

However, their recent resurgence on the road will be put to the test against Madrid, with the hosts - who have not conceded at the Bernabeu in La Liga since November 9 - having lost only once at home in the top flight this season.

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Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 8 Feb 2014 Real Madrid 4 - Villarreal 2
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 14 Sep 2013 Villarreal 2 - Real Madrid 2
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 21 Mar 2012 Villarreal 1 - Real Madrid 1
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 26 Oct 2011 Real Madrid 3 - Villarreal 0
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 15 May 2011 Villarreal 1 - Real Madrid 3
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Last Five Matches
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Returns: Villarreal £95.00 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Team News
Available Squads
25Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
4Sergio RamosDefender
15Daniel CarvajalDefender
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
9Karim BenzemaStriker
20Jesé RodríguezStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
25Sergio AsenjoGoalkeeper
14Mario GasparDefender
4Mateo MusacchioDefender
-J. AquinoDefender
54Moisés GómezMidfielder
-Edu RamosMidfielder
17Giovani dos SantosStriker
23Jonathan PereiraStriker
30Aitor Goalkeeper
17Bojan JokicDefender
-Aleksandar PanticDefender
-Gabriel PaulistaDefender
-Joan Ángel RománMidfielder
-Jérémy PerbetStriker
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Atlético Madrid
26 4
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
17 0