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May 13, 2021 at 6pm UK
Real ValladolidReal Valladolid

El Yamiq (30'), Kiko (76'), Guardiola (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Moreno (68'), Capoue (90+1')
Capoue (88')

Preview: Real Valladolid vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Real Valladolid vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's La Liga clash between Real Valladolid and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two sides in desperate need of three points for entirely different reasons prepare for battle on Thursday night as Real Valladolid play host to Villarreal in La Liga.

The hosts' survival hopes were dealt a blow with a crushing 3-0 defeat to Valencia last time out, while Villarreal's Europa League aspirations were damaged by a 4-2 loss to Celta Vigo.

Match preview

With only four points separating 17th-placed Real Valladolid from bottom-of-the-table Eibar - who are starting to hit a rich vein of form - the fight to avoid demotion to the Segunda Division could hardly be more gripping.

Valladolid nearly made it to the break level with an out-of-sorts Valencia side on Sunday, but Moi Gomez struck on the stroke of half time before doubling his tally in the 48th minute, and Thierry Correia added gloss to the scoreline late on to condemn Sergio Gonzalez's side to another demoralising defeat.

Depending on what happens in Elche and Huesca's games earlier in the week, Valladolid could find themselves below the dreaded dotted line by the time Thursday rolls around, and their nine-game winless run cannot come to an end soon enough.

Mid-table Levante are the only other team in the division without a win to boast from any of their last five matches, and being able to show off just one win from their last 18 La Liga outings is hardly cause for optimism for Valladolid, who face another pair of daunting fixtures with Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid before time is up.

It seems inconceivable to imagine Europa League specialist Unai Emery not walking out to the continental theme next season, but a recent downturn in league fortunes means that Villarreal are running the risk of missing out on a top-six finish.

Villarreal could still dine at the top table in Europe should they somehow manage to overcome Manchester United in the Europa League final, but the Yellow Submarine cannot solely rely on continental success should they be sunk by a rampant Red Devils contingent.

Two red cards to substitutes Mario Gaspar and Geronimo Rulli at the end of the first half against Celta Vigo - by which point Villarreal were controversially 2-1 down - epitomised a truly inexplicable first 45 minutes at Estadio de la Ceramica, and second-half strikes from Celta duo Brais Mendez and Augusto Solari condemned Emery's side to their third defeat in four La Liga games.

The seventh-placed Yellow Submarine currently sit two points behind Real Betis in sixth and may have to make do with a spot in the Conference League unless their rivals slip up, especially with Emery's men not expected to take six points from battles with Sevilla or Real Madrid in their final two games.

Villarreal secured a comfortable 2-0 win when the two sides met earlier in the campaign, and the Yellow Submarine have navigated their last four games unbeaten against Real Valladolid since a 1-0 defeat in the 2018-19 season.

Real Valladolid La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Villarreal form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Valladolid continue to battle against the drop without Fabian Orellana (muscle) or Raul Garcia (knee), but changes could be on the cards following a dismal outing at Valencia.

Jota lasted just 58 minutes on Sunday before being replaced by Pablo Hervias, and the latter could get the nod as Oscar Plano continues on the opposite side of the attack.

Villarreal will be unable to call upon Rulli or Gaspar following their red cards in the defeat to Celta, with the latter's absence allowing Ruben Pena to continue on the right-hand side of defence.

Samuel Chukwueze's quadriceps injury against Arsenal was as serious as it looked and he is facing a race to be fit for the Europa League final, and he is joined on the sidelines by Vicente Iborra and Tottenham Hotspur loanee Juan Foyth, who nurse knee and hamstring issues respectively.

Gerard Moreno will surely be reinstated to the first XI here after netting as a substitute in the defeat to Celta, while Pau Torres and Alfonso Pedraza will eye returns to the rearguard.

Real Valladolid possible starting lineup:
Masip; Janko, Sanchez, El Yamiq, Olaza; Fernandez, Alcaraz, Mesa; Hervias, Weissman, Plano

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo, Pino; Alcacer, Moreno

We say: Real Valladolid 1-2 Villarreal

Neither Real Valladolid nor Villarreal come into this match with the wind in their sails, and both sides may view this clash as their last opportunity to post a win on the board before their taxing final games.

A well-rested duo of Moreno and Paco Alcacer should have no trouble breaking down the hosts' leaky defence, though, and we expect Villarreal to boost their European bid at the expense of Valladolid's survival hopes.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

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La Liga Table
1 38268467254286
2 38259467283984
3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
9 38137184765-1846
10 381113144642446
11 381111163748-1144
12 381111163658-2244
13 381013155053-343
14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
16 38911183657-2138
17 38812183455-2136
18 38713183453-1934
19 38516173457-2331
20 38612202952-2330
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