Sports Mole previews Monday’s La Liga clash between Villarreal and Levante, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Villarreal will be looking to make it four straight La Liga victories when they welcome basement side Levante to Estadio de la Ceramica on Monday night.
The home side are currently 10th in the table, having picked up 25 points from their opening 18 matches of the season, while Levante are rock bottom of the division, picking up just eight points from 18 games.
Villarreal have largely struggled for consistency in La Liga during the 2021-22 campaign, but Unai Emery‘s side will enter Monday’s contest with Levante off the back of a three-game winning run in the league, beating Rayo Vallecano, Real Sociedad and Alaves, which has moved them into 10th spot in the table.
The Yellow Submarine hit five in their last game against Alaves before the winter break, with Gerard Moreno and Boulaye Dia both scoring twice in a strong performance at Estadio de la Ceramica.
Villarreal have actually won their last five games in all competitions, having also overcome Atalanta BC in the Champions League on December 9 and Sanluqueno in the Copa del Rey on December 15.
Emery’s team managed to qualify for the last-16 stage of the Champions League by finishing second in Group F, and they will take on Italian giants Juventus in the knockout round of the competition, with the first leg due to take place in Spain on February 22 before the return fixture in Italy on March 16.
Villarreal have been victorious in their last three league matches against Levante, including a 5-1 win when the two teams locked horns back in April, while they also triumphed 2-1 at home last term.
Levante, meanwhile, are still yet to win in Spain’s top flight this season, drawing eight of their 18 matches, losing the other 10, to sit bottom of the table with eight points.
Alessio Lisci‘s side are currently seven points behind 17th-placed Elche; there is still plenty of football to be played this season, but the fact that they are still searching for their first victory is a real concern.
Levante have only picked up one point from their last four league matches, losing to Real Betis, Espanyol and Valencia, in addition to sharing the points with Osasuna in a goalless draw.
The Frogs actually led 2-0 against Valencia before the winter break, but they then conceded four times without reply before netting a third in the 91st minute through Enis Bardhi.
Levante, who were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Alcoyano on penalties on December 14, have finished 15th, 15th, 12th and 14th in Spain’s top flight since earning promotion back to this level, and they are very much in a relegation battle at this stage of the season.
Villarreal La Liga form:
Villarreal form (all competitions):
Levante La Liga form:
Levante form (all competitions):
Villarreal will again be without the services of Ruben Pena through injury, while Francis Coquelin and Arnaut Danjuma are fitness doubts for the Yellow Submarine ahead of this match.
The hosts are also believed to have coronavirus issues in their camp but have not disclosed those involved, so it is difficult to know exactly which players could miss out on Monday.
Dia’s double against Alaves before the winter break should allow the forward to keep his spot alongside Gerard Moreno in the final third of the field, but Jeremy Pino could come into the side in place of Samuel Chukwueze.
As for Levante, Shkodran Mustafi and Sergio Postigo will miss the match through injury, while Pepelu and Roberto Soldado are out of the match through suspension.
There are not expected to be many surprises in the away side’s XI for this game, with Jorge de Frutos, Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti all in line to start.
Nemanja Radoja should return from injury to feature in the middle of the park, while Bardhi is also in line to play from the start, with Dani Gomez potentially dropping to the bench.
Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Pino, Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros; Dia, G Moreno
Levante possible starting lineup:
Cardenas; Son, Vezo, Duarte, Clerc; Campana, Radoja; De Frutos, Bardhi, Morales; Martin
We say: Villarreal 2-0 Levante
Villarreal’s recent form has been very impressive, with the Yellow Submarine on a roll at the moment in terms of wins. Levante, on the other hand, are really struggling to pick up positive results, and we are fully expecting the home side to collect all three points on Monday night.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win: data