Real Madrid host Villarreal in bid to extend La Liga lead

Real Madrid are odds-on favourites at 2/9 with Coral to defeat visiting Villarreal and extend their excellent run of nine games without a loss to the Yellow Submarine.

Los Blancos look to have recovered from their surprise 4-0 capitulation to bitter city rivals Atletico Madrid, and have responded to that disappointment by recording three consecutive 2-0 wins in the past fortnight.

Rampant Real also triumphed with a 2-0 scoreline on their travels to Villarreal earlier this term, so back Carlo Ancelotti’s men at 13/2 to repeat that result.

After title rivals Barcelona slipped up against Malaga last time out, Real will be eager to keep or extend their four point lead at the top of La Liga.

Cristiano Ronaldo was on target to help down the Yellow Submarine last time these two teams met, and the Portugal superstar has struck twice in his past two games, making him a fantastic 13/5 chance to net first.

France forward Karim Benzema was also on target in Los Blancos’ last league match against Elche, and is available at 10/3 to breach Villarreal’s backline last.

Welsh wing wizard Gareth Bale was in injury doubt, but according to reports will be ready to face the Yellow Submarine. The former Tottenham attacker is 5/1 to go in all guns blazing and bag a brace or better, to appease the Bernabeu crowd.

Bale’s fitness is a boost for Los Blancos, who will still likely be without sidelined stars Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez and Fabio Coentrao.

Surprise package Villarreal (10/1 to steal a shock scalp) could only dream of possessing the squad depth to cover for such high profile absences, and the high-flying Yellow Submarine’s hectic fixture list could see them fall victim to potent Madrid in this match-up.

Marcelino Garcia Toral’s team are without an away league win in last four games, with the club’s Europa League and Copa del Rey adventures proving a distraction

The Yellow Submarine’s top marksman Luciano Vietto bagged a brilliant brace midweek as Villarreal won 3-1 against Red Bull Salzburg, and was also on target last time out in the league.

Vivacious Vietto now has 18 goals across all competitions, making him a tasty 12/5 to be on target anytime. The visitors will be without important assist provider Dennis Cheryshev, however, as the Russian wingman is ineligible to play against parent club Real.

Powerful and pacy Arsenal-owned forward Joel Campbell could be picked to replace the Madrid Castilla product, and is 9/2 to net anytime. Villarreal have only failed to score in four games this campaign, so generous odds of 12/1 for both teams to score in both halves are a potentially fruitful punt.