MX23RW : Thursday, May 6 05:54:22| >> :120:48702:48702:
Apr 21, 2021 at 8pm UK at Mendizorroza, Vitoria, Basque Country
Joselu (17'), Mendez (80')
Garcia (69'), Mendez (74')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Alcacer (50')
Pedraza (63')

Preview: Alaves vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's La Liga clash between Alaves and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Unai Emery's high-flying Villarreal side will travel to Vitoria-Gasteiz this week for their La Liga clash with Alaves on Wednesday evening.

Villarreal will know that three points could see them haul themselves into fifth place, leapfrogging both Real Betis and Real Sociedad.

Match preview

Alaves' Luis Rioja celebrates scoring their first goal on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Having gone winless in their last eight league games, Alaves won their first league game under the guidance of Javier Calleja last week when they beat relegation rivals Huesca 1-0 at the Estadio Mendizorrotza.

Taking four points from his first two league games as Alaves boss, Calleja has yet to lose a game and the team look galvanised under the club's new direction.

Currently 16th in the standings, El Glorioso suddenly look well poised for a great escape, but they will have to push on this week against tougher opposition.

Rodrigo Battaglia was the hero against Huesca, with the Argentine Sporting Lisbon loanee scoring the winner just minutes before the final whistle.

Villarreal's Pau Torres pictured in March 2021© Reuters

Having weathered a blip earlier on in the campaign, Villarreal look to be back in the groove these days having won four of their last six league outings.

Emery's men are currently seventh in the division and could realistically finish as high as fifth if their good form continues.

Against Levante last time out, Villarreal beat their local adversaries 5-1, with Gerard Moreno and Samuel Chukwueze both finding the net for the Yellow Submarine.

An easy game on paper, Emery would be right to be wary of Alaves, who are a team fighting for their very survival.

Alaves La Liga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

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

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

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Team News

Villarreal coach Unai Emery reacts in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

After playing in the league over the weekend, both managers could opt to rotate players, but Villarreal are the side more capable of doing so.

Absentees for Alaves include Florian Lejeune, Manu Garcia, Abdel Abqar and Rodrigo Ely.

Emery could opt to keep things fresh by playing the likes of Manu Trigueros, Paco Alcacer and Etienne Capoue.

The only absentee for Emery is Pervis Estupinan, who is out with a muscle injury.

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Rodriguez, Duarte; Jota, Battaglia, Pina, Pere Pons; Perez, Joselu

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Mario, Albiol, Torres, Alfonso; Chukwueze, Coquelin, Parejo, Gomez; Alcacer, Moreno

SM words green background

We say: Alaves 1-2 Villarreal

We think Villarreal have what it takes to come away with the points in midweek. Alaves are playing with desperation on their side, but Emery's men just have too much firepower behind them.

Top tip

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Todays Game Header Right
1Atletico MadridAtletico34237461223976
2Real Madrid34228458243474
5Real Sociedad341411951351653
7Real Betis34149114346-351
9Athletic Bilbao341112114436845
10Celta Vigo341111124651-544
17Real Valladolid34516133246-1431

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