Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos could make his return from a shoulder injury against VillarrealGetty Images

Real Madrid will look to continue their fine goal scoring form and secure another three points against Villarreal at El Madrigal on 13 December.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 7.30pm GMT. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 1 HD.

Overview

Fifth-placed Villarreal come into this clash after playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Viktoria Plzen in the Europa League on 10 December, which meant they finished second in Group E. Marcelino's side are on a five-match unbeaten run at El Madrigal in all competitions, but have lost seven of their last ten matches against Real Madrid.

The hosts are without Mario Gaspar, Leo Baptistao (both thigh) and Adrian (leg) through injury, but goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo may start on the bench after recovering from a knee injury.

Real Madrid are on a five-match winning run across all competitions and put eight goals past Malmo in the Champions League in midweek. Matters off the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu are not quite as rosy, however, with the capital club failing in their appeal to get their expulsion from the Copa del Rey temporarily suspended.

Sergio Ramos returned to training this week after recovering from a shoulder injury and may feature at El Madrigal, but fellow defenders Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane (both thigh) are still sidelined. Playmaker Isco returns after serving a two-match suspension.

What managers say

Marcelino: "I worry about our defensive balance because just scoring as many as possible to win games isn't sustainable. We must improve our defensive intensity because it's not at its maximum. If we defend like we did [on 10 December] against Real Madrid, it's likely that they'll put seven past us."

Rafael Benitez: "This is football and things change every week. The important thing is to carry on this run of good play and results that we must maintain. We have to really respect the opponents. I am really satisfied with the play, attitude and the result and I hope that the team will continue in the same direction."

Form guide

  • Villarreal (all competitions): DWLLW
  • Last result: Viktoria Plzen 3-3 Villarreal (Europa League)
  • Real Madrid (all competitions): WWWWW
  • Last result: Real Madrid 8-0 Malmo (Champions League)

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Villarreal win: 4
  • Draw: 13/4
  • Real Madrid win: 11/17

Team news

Villarreal possible XI: Areola; Costa, Bailly, Ruiz, Marin; Dos Santos, Pina, Bruno, Suarez; Soldado, Bakambu

Real Madrid possible XI: Navas; Danilo, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo; Rodriguez, Casemiro, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo