While the La Liga title hopes are likely over for the season, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is now more or less playing for his future at the club. Despite winning two Champions League titles alongside the Liga last year, Madrid legend Zidane is under major pressure with the chances of him being let go becoming clearer and clearer.
Another poor result at home, where they have often been dreadful in 2017-18, could see the board make a decision. It must be tough knowing that wins no longer get you credit, merely stop you being sacked, but such is life at Los Blancos.
In Villarreal, they play a team unbeaten in their last three but who arrived into that streak losign three on the spin. Sitting just 4 points behind their illustrious neighbors, though, anything but a win for Madrid leaves them looking much closer at 5th and 6th instead of 2nd and 3rd.
This is an interesting tie; one that should be decided by Madrid’ ability to finally perform at home. The typically difficult Madrid crowd sound close to turning, and the home team can expect little patience form the home fans who seem to have forgotten the gluttony of success in recent years.
With the likely pairing of Carlos Bacca and Enes Unal up top trying to make up for the loss of Cedric Bakambu, it will be interesting to see how Villarreal respond to losing their primary goal threat. With the next two top scorers in Sansone and Bacca having less than Bakambu alone, that is no mean feat.
Still, with Madrid’ top scorer in the league being on 4 with Bale, Ronaldo and Isco, this poses a very interesting match. Without the firepower of previous seasons, that profligate nature could cost Zidane his job come Monday.