MX23RW : Tuesday, June 15 22:55:39| >> :120:51199:51199:
Mar 14, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Ipurua Municipal Stadium
Enrich (55')
Arbilla (51'), Gil (56')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Gomez (1'), Bacca (34'), Pedraza (87')
Pedraza (70'), Asenjo (86')
Capoue (80')

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

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

Unai Emery's embattled Villarreal side travel to the Basque Country this weekend for their La Liga clash with Eibar at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on Sunday.

Villarreal's winless streak of eight league games is bettered only by Eibar's run of nine games without a win. The difference, however, is that the former are chasing a top-four finish while the latter are heading for the Segunda Division.

Match preview

Eibar manager Jose Luis Mendilibar pictured in December 2020© Reuters

After starting the year well, Jose Luis Mendilibar's Eibar side have succumbed to a poor run of form that has seen them drop points against almost all their relegation rivals.

Yet, while a number of the clubs around them have opted for a managerial switch, the Eibar hierarchy have entrusted incumbent boss Mendilibar with the side's fight for top-flight survival.  

Earlier this week, club CEO Jon Ander Ulazia told reporters: "You can not doubt the work of Mendilibar in the last five seasons... We continue to believe that we will carry this out if we are all united".

With games against Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid and Levante on the horizon, it is difficult to see how 18th-placed Eibar will carry out their great escape, united or not.

After losing the reverse fixture against Villarreal 2-1, a loss for Eibar this weekend would make it the first time ever they have lost both fixtures against the Yellow Submarine in the same La Liga season.

Villarreal manager Unai Emery pictured in December 2020© Reuters

While Emery has had a decent campaign thus far at the helm of Villarreal, a blip in form has always been on the cards. However, it is unlikely that there were many who believed the blip would last quite as long as it has.

Villarreal have not won a La Liga fixture since their 4-0 drubbing of Celta Vigo in early January. Since then, Emery's men have picked up just five points from a possible 24, which is really poor from a side previously touted for a Champions League spot.

Against rivals Valencia last time out, Emery's side were undone in the dying minutes of the game after a Carlos Soler penalty and a Goncalo Guedes injury-time winner saw Los Che win the tie 2-1.

Fortunately for Emery, their poor league form has not affected their Europa League endeavours. Villarreal comfortably beat Dynamo Kyiv in midweek thanks to goals from centre-backs Pau Torres and Raul Albiol.

Still, it is not all doom and gloom for seventh-placed Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine have avoided defeat in their last seven top-flight games against Basque opposition, which bodes well for this weekend.

Eibar La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Villarreal's Gerard Moreno celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Real Madrid on November 21, 2020© Reuters

Mendilibar has a relatively fit and healthy squad to choose from this weekend, but there are a few absentees to the team.

Defenders Pedro Bigas and Rober will both miss this tie due to muscle injuries.

Albiol will be a big miss for Villarreal this weekend. The defender is suspended for this tie after picking up another yellow card against Valencia. Ramiro Funes Mori is likely to deputise for the veteran Spaniard.

Other absentees include Francis Coquelin, Yeremi Pino and Ruben Pena, who are all out nursing injuries.

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Dmitrovic; Pozo, Oliveira, Arbilla, Angel; Leon, Diop, Exposito, Gil; Enrich, Kike

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Foyth, Funes Mori, Torres, Estupinan; Chukwueze, Capoue, Parejo, Gomez; Moreno, Paco Alcacer

SM words green background

We say: Eibar 1-1 Villarreal

Eibar do not look capable of beating anyone at the moment, but Villarreal have also been playing exceptionally poorly in the league. We do not think anything will be able to separate these two sides.

Top tip

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