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October 26, 2011 9:00 PM BST
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ Miguel Pérez‎
Attendance:‬ 80000‎
11′ Kaká

Real Madrid - Villarreal Preview: Jose Mourinho's side aiming to maintain lead over Barcelona

The hosts are clear of their great rivals and will be looking to win as Juan Carlos Garrido brings his under-performing side to Santiago Bernabeu

By Martin Macdonald

UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid CF v Olympique Lyonnais



Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo
Xabi Alonso, Khedira
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Diego Lopez
Zapata, Gonzalo, Musacchio, Catala
Cani, Borja Valero, Bruno, De Guzman
Ruben, Rossi

Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol is an absentee as he is still recovering from a fractured cheekbone. Nuri Sahin is working back to fitness from a knee injury, while Ricardo Carvalho remains a major doubt after failing to shake off a back injury.

Sami Khedira may be given the nod next to Xabi Alonso, and with Kaka disappointing against Malaga, Mesut Ozil may return to the starting line-up. With Gonzalo Higuain again on the scoresheet at the weekend, he will likely be chosen up front ahead of Karim Benzema.

Nilmar remains a long-term absentee for Villarreal. The Brazilian is still recovering from a knee injury. Marcos Senna, Marco Ruben, and Javi Camunas all returned to the squad for the 3-0 home defeat to Levante, and are in contention for an appearance against Madrid.

  • In this fixture last season, Real Madrid fought to a 4-2 victory at Santiago Bernabeu, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a hat-trick.

  • Iker Casillas' outing against Malaga on Saturday moved him to 428 league appearances for Madrid, edging him above Paco Gento into fifth place on the all-time list.
  • Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain (right) have scored more goals in La Liga this season than the entire Villarreal squad.
  • Villarreal have won only two games out of 11 in competitive matches this season.
  • Juan Carlos Garrido's side have had four different goalscorers in La Liga this campaign - half the amount of Real Madrid.
  • Villarreal have notched up seven goals in eight games in the league this season. Madrid, on the other hand, have netted 28 times.

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Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 26 Oct 2011 Real Madrid 3 - Villarreal 0
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
4Sergio RamosDefender
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
9Karim BenzemaStriker
9Gonzalo HiguaínStriker
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
7José Callejón Striker
4Hamit AltıntopMidfielder
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
25Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
2Gonzalo RodríguezDefender
4Mateo MusacchioDefender
17Cristian ZapataDefender
20Jonathan De GuzmánMidfielder
20Borja ValeroMidfielder
49Giuseppe RossiStriker
-Marco RubenStriker
-Marcos Senna Midfielder
11Hernán PérezMidfielder
-Marcos GullónMidfielder
3Joan OriolDefender
14Mario GasparDefender
18Javi CamuñasMidfielder
Players to Watch
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
27 28 4 1
Returned to goalscoring form with a bang at the weekend as he bagged himself yet another Real Madrid hat-trick. Is performing at an exceptionally high standard at the moment so Villarreal will have their hands full with the Portuguese. If he is awarded too much room, he will almost certainly grab himself a goal or provide an assist for a team-mate.
Giuseppe Rossi
Giuseppe Rossi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 49
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Villarreal's top goalscorer this season and certainly their most potent attacking weapon. If his team-mates can manage to maintain decent periods of possession in the final third then they can create chances for the Italian, who definitely has the quality to fire his side to a result against Madrid.
Probable Lineups
Iker Casillas 1
Marcelo 12
Sergio Ramos 4
Pepe 3
Arbeloa 17
Cristiano Ronaldo 7
Xabi Alonso 14
Kaká 22
Sami Khedira 6
Ángel Di María 22
Karim Benzema 9
Diego López Rodríguez 25
Catalá 21
Gonzalo Rodríguez 2
Mateo Musacchio 4
Cristian Zapata 17
Jonathan De Guzmán 20
Soriano 21
Borja Valero 20
Cani 10
Giuseppe Rossi 49
Marco Ruben 0
Real Madrid are in scintillating form at the moment and when you compare that with the awful start to the season from Villarreal, it is difficult to see past a comfortable win for Jose Mourinho's men in this game. Juan Carlos Garrido's side have been terribly unorganised recently, and although the Yellow Submarine definitely have the quality to get something from the contest, their defensive frailties could once again come to the fore.
Editor's Prediction
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