Real Madrid are now second in La Liga but can leapfrog Barcelona and go back into first if they beat the Yellow Submarine tonight. Their midweek match against Valencia demonstrated that as they fell 2-1 in the Mestalla. Villarreal haven't been bad by any means this season, but they're definitely not on Real Madrid's level right now - even if Madrid are running out of room for error in the standings in La Liga.
An away trip to Villarreal isn't the game you want to get back on your feet either.
It failed to make much difference as Real Madrid struggled to break through against the league's stingiest defence in the first half, though, and it was the hosts who enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes without being able to find the breakthrough. What's happened has happened.
Lionel Messi scored Barcelona's victor with a poke past Jan Oblak in the 86th minute. However, the two teams are still to play each other next month and if Madrid slip up again, then that game could be a title decider. Last time Los Blancos travelled to visit Villarreal, they lost 1-0 with goal of Roberto Soldado.
"We know that we must always look to keep on improving, because for the teams we are playing their game of the year is against Madrid".
Mavericks waive point guard Deron Williams
With just 48 hours until the deadline, it will be interesting to see if any actual deal can be made between Dallas and Utah. In 439 total games with the Jazz, Williams averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.
Zinedine Zidane has two injuries concerns.
Madrid suffered a blow ahead of the trip to El Madrigal with news that centre-back Raphael Varane is facing up to six weeks out through injury.
Coach Fran Escriba said: "We trust in our possibilities and we want to win to achieve our objectives".
Villarreal will be without injured duo Jose Angel Valdes and Nicolas Sansone for the clash.
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