Villarreal have a great chance to climb to third on the La Liga table as they hit the road to take on Celta Vigo.
Celta Vigo will be desperate to get back to the kind of form that saw them go six games undefeated till a week back as they host Villarreal at the Estadio de Balaidos on Friday. Villarreal have lost just one of their last 20 matches across all competitions with their most recent loss coming against Sevilla a week ago.
New coach Eduardo Coudet has had a telling impact on Celta Vigo and in his first eight games in charge, they won six and lost just once. That run was impeded by Real Madrid and they subsequently fell again to second division Ibiza in the second round of the Copa Del Rey, losing 5-2.
After surviving the drop by the skin of their teeth last season, Celta Vigo are currently at eighth on the La Liga table and there's a lot of promise about them. Celta Vigo can still afford to entertain some faint top four hopes still as they are only five points behind fifth-placed Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Villarreal will travel to take on Celta Vigo buoyed by their 4-1 victory over Zamora in the Copa Del Rey despite Unai Emery rotating his squad. Their 4-1 victory over Levante has placed them in good stead to overtake third-placed Real Sociedad on the La Liga table.
Villarreal, however, have been in poor form away from home and given their recent record against Celta Vigo, where they've won just once in the last four encounters, they should not be taking this one lightly.
Celta Vigo vs Villarreal Head-to-Head
Celta Vigo and Villarreal have battled a total of 17 times till date. Celta Vigo have won six times while Villarreal have been victorious on eight occasions. Three matches have ended in a draw.
The last time these two sides met was in June in the 2019-20 season and Villarreal won the game 1-0.
Celta Vigo form guide: W-D-W-L-L
Villarreal form guide: W-D-L-W-W
Celta Vigo vs Villarreal Team News
Celta Vigo suffered greatly in their loss to Real Madrid. Forwards Iago Aspas and Nolito picked up injuries and are set to be sidelined for a while leaving the side's attack looking rather blunted. Fran Beltran and Okay Yokuslu are expected to continue in the starting lineup.
Renato Tapia picked up yet another booking in the game against Real Madrid and is suspended for the game against Villarreal. David Junca continues to be unavailable through injury.
Injuries: David Junca, Nolito and Iago Aspas
Suspensions: Renato Tapia
Vicente Iborra, Paco Alcacer, Juan Foyth and Francis Coquelin continue to be sidelined for the Yellow Submarine through injury. Emery rotated his squad against Zamora and there will be wholesale changes to the starting XI against Celta Vigo.
Injuries: Vicente Iborra, Paco Alcacer, Juan Foyth and Francis Coquelin
Celta Vigo vs Villarreal Predicted Lineups
Celta Vigo Predicted XI (4-4-2): Ruben Blanco, Hugo Mallo, Nestor Araujo, Jeison Murillo, Lucas Olaza, Fran Beltran, Okay Yokuslu, Baeza, Denis Suarez, Brais Mendez, Santi Mina
Villarreal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Sergio Asenjo; Alfonso Pedraza, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Ruben Pena; Manu Trigueros, Trigueros, Daniel Parejo; Yeremi Pino, Fernando Nino, Gerard Moreno
Celta Vigo vs Villarreal Prediction
Celta Vigo will be desperate to get back to winning ways and this is a fixture where they have found joy in the recent past. But without the likes of Nolito and Iago Aspas, they are going to find it difficult to inflict much damage on Villarreal.
Match prediction: Celta Vigo 1-3 VillarrealPublished 06 Jan 2021, 18:52 IST