It’s Samuel Chukwueze and Villarreal versus Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid in La Liga’s Match Day 3 on Sunday night at the Estadio de la Ceramica in a tie that recently became notorious for its rain of goals.
This same game last year was one of those with which an unknown Nigerian youngster introduced himself to the football world. Chukwueze hassled, harassed and tormented Los Blancos defence for 90 minutes and though he didn’t score, the then 19-year-old provided the assist for Santi Cazorla’s first goal as the tie eventually ended in a 2-2 draw.
The Super Eagles forward has already registered his name among the goalscorers this term – netting in the 4-4 draw at home to Granada in the opening weekend – and will aim to punish the visitors’ defence should they show any complacency.
With four of the last five meetings between these sides producing 4 goals or more, another barnstorming game awaits with Villarreal already looking extremely vulnerable in defence and completely unpredictable in attack.
After just two matches, the home side have found the back of the net five times but have just one point to their name having conceded six goals over the same period.
Real arrive La Ceramica in backlash mode having dropped precious points last weekend in a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu despite unsurprisingly dominating proceedings.
Against the Yellow Submarines, Zinedine Zidane’s men will look to right all the wrongs in that last matchup. Los Merengues are expected to enter the pitch with confidence having netted 80 times against Villarreal in La Liga which is more than any other team in the competition and they have also won more matches against the Valencian outfit than any other club in the history of the Spanish top flight.
With Samuel Chukwueze and Santi Cazorla still pulling the strings in midfield for El Submarino Amarillo, Coach Javi Calleja should have a trick or two up his sleeves to upset the odds.
Real Madrid are still without marquee summer signing Eden Hazard who remains side lined with a hamstring injury.
Also set to miss the encounter are the trio of Isco (Injured), James Rodriguez (Injured) and Marco Asensio (Injured)
Predicted Starting Line Ups
Andres Fernandez; Mario Gaspar, Albiol, Pau Torres, Xavi Quintilla; Manu Trigueros, Cazorla; Chukwueze, Iborra, Toko Ekambi; Gerard Moreno.
Real Madrid (4-3-3):
Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius Junior.
The solid wager for this Matchday 3 encounter looks to be backing over 2.5 goals with both teams scoring, which has landed comfortably in four of the last five meetings between the pair and in three of the four La Liga matches involving the two sides so far this season.