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

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

Villarreal will be looking to secure fifth spot in Spain's top flight when they finish their 2019-20 campaign at home to Eibar on Sunday night.

The Yellow Submarine are currently fifth in the table, two points clear of sixth-placed Real Sociedad, while Eibar occupy 13th ahead of the final set of fixtures in La Liga.

Match preview

Villarreal's Pau Torres in action against Barcelona in La Liga on September 24, 2019© Reuters

Villarreal will enter this weekend's clash off the back of successive defeats, including a 2-1 loss at Real Madrid on Thursday night, which saw Los Blancos secure the title with a game to spare.

The Yellow Submarine have been in impressive form since returning to action after the lockdown period, though, and are in charge of fifth position as they bid to secure a return to the Europa League.

Fifth would be considered a huge success considering that they finished 14th last season, and the fact that Sociedad are away to Atletico Madrid on Sunday means that Villarreal might not need to pick up a positive result here in order to secure the position that they currently occupy.

Javi Calleja's side will not be taking any chances, though, and will fancy their chances of overcoming an Eibar side that have only won three of their 18 away league matches this season.

That said, Villarreal have only won eight of their 18 La Liga games on their own patch this term, boasting just the 11th-best home record in the division, which is a surprise considering their spot in the table.

Eibar's Pablo De Blasis celebrates scoring against Barcelona in La Liga on May 19, 2019© Reuters

Eibar, meanwhile, will enter Sunday's clash off the back of successive league victories over Espanyol and Real Valladolid, which has helped them into 13th position in the table.

Jose Luis Mendilibar's side cannot finish higher than 13th as they are four points behind 12th-placed Levante, but they could drop as low as 16th if other results go against them this weekend.

Eibar have now been present at this level since the 2014-15 campaign, and they have actually claimed top-half finishes in two of their last three seasons, which is an indication of their credentials.

Los Armeros will certainly be eyeing their 12th La Liga win of the season this weekend and could do the double over Villarreal, having recorded a 2-1 victory in the reverse match back in October.

Villarreal La Liga form: WWLWLL

Eibar La Liga form: WLLDWW

Team News

Santi Cazorla scores a wonder goal for Villarreal against Barcelona in La Liga on September 24, 2019.© Reuters

Villarreal will again be without the services of Carlos Bacca and Ramiro Funes Mori through injury, but Paco Alcacer could be available to return in the final third of the field.

Calleja shuffled his pack against Real Madrid on Thursday, but the likes of Vicente Iborra, Santi Cazorla, Raul Albiol and Alberto Moreno should all be back in the XI for this match.

The hosts could line up in a 4-4-3 with Gerard Moreno and Samuel Chukwueze also featuring in the final third, although Javi Ontiveros is also pushing for a spot in attack.

As for Eibar, Ivan Ramis is still on the sidelines through injury, while Anaitz Arbilla, Paulo Oliveira and Gonzalo Escalante are all doubts for the visitors.

Charles and Sergi Enrich are both pushing for spots in the side, having been on the bench against Valladolid, while Papa Diop is also an option for change in the middle of the park.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Torres, Albiol, Moreno; Anguissa, Iborra, Cazorla; Chukwueze, Moreno, Alcacer

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Yoel; Tejero, Bigas, Oliveira, Rafa; Diop, Alvarez; De Blasis, Inui, Gonzalez; Charles

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Villarreal 2-0 Eibar

Eibar will enter this match full of confidence following back-to-back wins, while Villarreal have lost three of their last four in the league. The Yellow Submarine played well against Real Madrid on Thursday, though, and we fancy them to guarantee fifth with a victory this weekend.

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Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema celebrates scoring against Granada on July 13, 2020
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