Jose Mourinho's men look to maintain distance between themselves and Barcelona as Juan Carlos Garrido brings his underperforming 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 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.
||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.
- 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 has 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.