By David Goulbourn

When: 10:15AM EST, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Where: Estadio de la Cerámica, Villarreal, Spain

Betting Line: OFF

TV Coverage: beIN SPORTS en Español

 

Villarreal (15-9-8) welcome Leganes (6-9-17) to the Estadio de la Cerámica on Saturday in an important clash at both ends of the La Liga table as the sides in 5th and 17th go head to head. The last time these 2 sides met was in December when they played out an insipid 0-0 draw at the Butarque on a disappointing day for Villarreal.

Villarreal come into this game sitting 5th in the table and in the automatic qualification spot for the Europa League. The battle for Europa League qualification is hotting up and just 5 points separate 5 teams now with 6 games remaining, so who will grab the 2 qualification spots is up in the air as none of the teams can seem to string a good set of results together. Leganes on the other hand sit 5 points clear of the relegation zone, knowing that 1 win will probably be enough to secure their safety in what has been a poor season. The club is fortunate that there have been 3 worse teams than them this year and could easily have seen themselves relegated in previous years with their current points haul.

Leganes

Leganes come into this game on a poor run of form that has seen them go winless in their last 5 games. Last time out the club lost 1-0 to Espanyol, a result which came off the back of the shocking defeat against bottom club Osasuna, a win which was just their third of the season. Goals have been a problem for Leganes this season and the club is the lowest scorers in the division with just 26 goals scored in their 32 games.

Villarreal

Villarreal come into this game in inconsistent form with 2 wins and 3 defeats in their last 5 games. Recent wins against Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao appeared to have put the Yellow Submarine back on track, but last time out they surprisingly lost 2-1 against Alaves after a very poor first half left them with too much to do in the second half. The win ended any hopes the club had of catching Sevilla in 4th place as the gap now stands at 8 points with 6 games remaining. The club’s focus must now be on securing 5th place as the race heats up for the Europa League spots.

Key Points

1. Villarreal have conceded just 26 goals this season, only Atletico Madrid have conceded less.

2. Villarreal have been solid away from home this season losing just 4 games on the road. Only the league's top 4 sides have a better record than the Yellow Submarine.

3. Only Athletic Bilbao have scored less goals than Villarreal this season out of the teams currently in the top half of the La Liga table.

The Pick

Expect Villarreal to return to winning ways here against a poor Leganes side who have struggled all season as the league's worst attack come up against the second best defence in the division.

Villarreal 2, Leganes 0