MX23RW : Saturday, June 12 20:11:32| >> :120:45798:45798:
Jan 2, 2021 at 1pm UK at Estadio El Madrigal
VillarrealVillarreal
2-1
LevanteLevante
Nino (19'), Moreno (54')
Pino (45')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Leon (73')
Malsa (84')

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

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

Villarreal will be looking to return to winning ways in Spain's top flight when they welcome an in-form Levante side to Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday afternoon.

The Yellow Submarine will enter the contest off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Sevilla, while Levante won a seven-goal thriller against Real Betis to make it three victories in their last four matches.


Match preview

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

Villarreal lost just their second league game of the season on Tuesday night as they went down 2-0 at Sevilla, which saw them drop behind Julen Lopetegui's side in the table.

The Yellow Submarine currently occupy fifth position, having picked up 26 points from their 16 matches this season courtesy of six wins and eight draws.

Recent injury problems have harmed Unai Emery's side, and they have actually only won one of their last seven in Spain's top flight, sharing the points in five of those encounters.

Villarreal have finished fifth in three of their last four campaigns and last claimed fourth in 2015-16; there is a lot of competition for the Champions League places in La Liga, but El Submarino Amarillo will certainly be eyeing another top-four spot in the second half of the campaign.

Levante head coach Paco Lopez pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Levante, meanwhile, will enter this weekend's contest off the back of a 4-3 win over Betis on Tuesday night; Manuel Pellegrini's side scored twice in the latter stages to set up a grandstand finish, but the home team held on to claim another three points, which moved them into 12th position.

The Frogs have now won three of their last four matches in all competitions, including an impressive 2-1 home success over Real Sociedad on December 19.

Paco Lopez's team have only been beaten in one of their last 10 league matches, meanwhile, and the loss was a narrow one at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi scoring the only goal of the contest late on.

The visitors will therefore enter this match full of confidence and knowing that a victory could see them move into the top half of the division depending on other results.

Levante suffered a 2-1 defeat to Villarreal when the two teams last locked horns at Estadio de la Ceramica but recorded a 2-1 victory when the pair met in Valencia in the reverse match.

Villarreal La Liga form: DDDWDL
Villarreal form (all competitions): DDWWDL

Levante La Liga form: DWLWDW
Levante form (all competitions): WLWWDW


Team News

Villarreal's Carlos Bacca celebrates scoring against Maccabi Tel Aviv on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Villarreal's injury problems are not particularly easing at the moment, with Vicente Iborra, Francis Coquelin, Paco Alcacer, Alberto Moreno and Mario Gaspar all currently on the sidelines.

Carlos Bacca did feature as a substitute against Sevilla last time out, though, and the Colombia international could now be in contention to earn a starting role in this match.

Emery is expected to make changes from the defeat at Estadio Ramon, with Pervis Estupinan likely to feature at left-back, while Samuel Chukwueze is also battling for a spot in the final third.

As for Levante, Nikola Vukcevic, Enis Bardhi, Sergio Postigo and Jose Campana are again expected to miss out through injury, while Ruben Vezo is still unavailable following a positive coronavirus test.

The visitors will also be without the services of Rober following his red card against Betis, meaning that Carlos Clerc could start in the middle of the defence with Coke coming in at left-back.

There are not expected to be any changes further forward, though, with Jose Luis Morales, Dani Gomez and Roger Marti all likely to retain their positions in the side.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan; Trigueros, Parejo, M Gomez; Pedraza, Bacca, G Moreno

Levante possible starting lineup:
Aitor; Miramon, Duarte, Clerc, Coke; De Frutos, Malsa, Radoja, Morales; D Gomez, Marti


SM words green background

We say: Villarreal 2-1 Levante

Levante's recent form must be respected, with Lopez's side losing just one of their last 10 in the league; they have struggled on the road, though, winning just one of their last eight, and we fancy Villarreal to claim all three points courtesy of a narrow success.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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