Valencia vs Villarreal Date and Time: Friday, March 5, 2021 8 PM (UK Time) Venue: Mestalla Prediction: Villareal Bookmaker: 1xbet
Villarreal will be looking to continue their encouraging start to the 2020-2021 La Liga campaign when they welcome Valencia to Estadio de la Ceramica last Sunday afternoon. The Yellow Submarine are currently fourth in Spain’s top flight with eight points to show from their five league matches this season, while Valencia sits eighth, having collected seven points from their five fixtures.
Villarreal picked up four points from their first two league games of the season at home to Huesca and Eibar before suffering a 4-0 defeat away to Barcelona on September 27. The Yellow Submarine have been impressive in their last two matches, though, beating Alaves 3-1 at the end of September before holding Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano last time out.
Villarreal finished fifth in Spain’s top flight last term, and they will be looking to close the gap on the top four this season, particularly considering their business in the summer transfer market. Unai Emery’s side spent big on Watford’s Pervis Estupinan, while Francis Coquelin and Dani Parejo actually both joined the club from Valencia, with the latter arriving on a free transfer. Villarreal will begin their Europa League group-stage campaign at home to Turkish side Sivasspor on October 22, and the club will want to enter the European game off the back of a domestic win.
As for Valencia, it would be fair to say that all is not well at the club, with head coach Javi Gracia recently revealing that he wants to leave Mestalla and is only remaining in his position due to a contractual obligation. Gracia is unhappy at the lack of investment in the squad over the summer, while the likes of Parejo, Coquelin, Ferran Torres, Rodrigo Moreno, Cristiano Piccini, and Ezequiel Garay all moved on. French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has since hit out at the club’s chairman Anil Murthy on social media, claiming that the 47-year-old has “destroyed an ambitious project”.
Results have been mixed in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign; the season started with a 4-2 win over Levante before losing to Celta Vigo and drawing at home to Huesca in their next two. Los Che then recorded a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad at the end of September before losing at home to Real Betis before the international break, and it is difficult to know what to expect on a week-to-week basis.
There is no downplaying the importance of this match for both sides, particularly Valencia after what has transpired over the international break. Los Che is capable of making it a very difficult game for the hosts, but we fancy Villarreal to pick up all three points to continue their strong start.