17 July 2020
Real Madrid welcome Villarreal to the Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium for the penultimate La Liga fixture, looking to pick up three points and mathematically seal the league title.
Zinedine Zidane’s game set-up worked like a clock since the resumption of football in June, as Real Madrid won all nine of their La Liga outings post restart to move four points clear of second-placed Barcelona. Impressively, six of those victories were accompanied by a clean sheet, which has been true in 75% (six) of Real’s eight league home triumphs this calendar year. Additionally, Los Blancos face a perfect opportunity to close the 2019/20 season without a single home defeat in La Liga (W14, D4), taking on a side they’ve lost to only once in 19 top-flight home H2Hs since 1998 (W13, D5). Notably, quick out of the blocks, Los Merengues have scored the opening goal (if any) in 14 of 18 La Liga home fixtures this campaign (77.78%), failing to hold on to the lead only once (D1).
Meanwhile, the visitors have won five of nine league matches since football returned (D1, L2), with five of those successes yielding a clean sheet. Moreover, the ‘Yellow Submarine’ have turned their away fortunes around since the league’s restart, racking up four consecutive La Liga triumphs on the road after previously failing to pick up a win in three trips in a row (D1, L2). Importantly, four of Villarreal’s six results (win/loss) during that seven-game sequence saw the winner on the day keep a clean sheet. Actually, conceding the opener may end Villarreal’s hopes of winning here, as Javier Calleja’s side lost five of seven La Liga away fixtures in which they shipped the first goal (W1, D1).
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