Jose Mourinho's men look to maintain distance between themselves and Barcelona as Juan Carlos Garrido brings his under-performing side to Santiago Bernabeu.
Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo
Xabi Alonso, Khedira
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Zapata, Gonzalo, Musacchio, Catala
Cani, Borja Valero, Bruno, De Guzman
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 lineup. 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.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
In this fixture last season, Real Madrid fought to a 4-2 victory at Santiago Bernabeu, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting a hat trick.
- Ronaldo needs two more goals to reach 100 in all competitions with Real Madrid.
- Iker Casillas' outing against Malaga on Saturday moved him onto 428 league appearances for Madrid, edging him above Paco Gento into fifth place on the all-time list.
- Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain have scored more goals in La Liga this season than the entire Villarreal squad.
- Villarreal has won only two games out of 11 in competitive matches this season.
- Juan Carlos Garrido's side has had four different goalscorers in La Liga this campaign - half the amount of Real Madrid.
- Villarreal has notched up seven goals in eight games in the league this season. Madrid, on the other hand, has netted 28 times.