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La Liga | Gameweek 5
Sep 17, 2023 at 3.15pm UK
Estadio de la Ceramica

2 - 1

Moreno (45+5'), Sorloth (90+4')
Capoue (26'), Pino (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Akieme (44')
Embarba (53'), Chumi (84'), Puigmal (89')

Preview: Villarreal vs. Almeria - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Villarreal and Almeria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Villarreal will be bidding to bounce back from successive defeats in Spain's top flight when they resume their campaign at home to an out-of-form Almeria on Sunday afternoon.

The Yellow Submarine have picked up just three points from their first four games of the new La Liga season to sit down in 15th spot in the table, while Almeria are 19th, boasting just one point this term.

Match preview

Villarreal's Ben Brereton Diaz celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 5, 2023© Reuters

Villarreal sacked Quique Setien as head coach in the aftermath of the 3-1 loss at Cadiz before the international break, with three defeats from the team's first four league matches seeing a change being made.

Real Madrid Castilla boss Raul was strongly linked with the position, but Pacheta has been appointed as the new manager, with the 55-year-old returning to work in La Liga, having lost his job at Real Valladolid in April.

Villarreal's only win this season was a 1-0 success at Mallorca on August 18, losing at home to both Real Betis and Real Madrid, in addition to the 3-1 reverse to Cadiz earlier this month.

The Yellow Submarine will start their Europa League group-stage campaign against Panathinaikos next week, while they will also take on Rennes and Maccabi Haifa in what is an open Group F.

Villarreal, who finished fifth in Spain's top flight last season, are certainly better than what they have shown early in the season, and a win over Almeria could act as a springboard for the weeks ahead.

Almeria's Sergio Arribas celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 19, 2023© Reuters

Almeria lost both La Liga matches against Villarreal last season, while they have not beaten Sunday's opponents in Spain's top flight since May 2010, which is an indication of the size of their task here.

La Union narrowly avoided relegation from La Liga last season, finishing 17th in the table, just one point above 18th-placed Real Valladolid, and the early indications are that it could be another tough campaign.

Indeed, Vicente Moreno's side have picked up just one point from their opening four matches, which has left them in 19th position, with only Sevilla performing worse at this stage of the campaign.

Almeria lost back-to-back home games against Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid before drawing 1-1 at Cadiz on August 26, but they lost 3-2 at home to Celta Vigo before the international break.

UDA recovered from a two-goal deficit to level the scores courtesy of efforts from Sergio Akieme and Sergio Arribas, but Celta scored an 87th-minute winner in the contest at the Power Horse Stadium.

Villarreal La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Almeria La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Villarreal midfielder Dani Parejo in action against Liverpool in May 2022© Reuters

Villarreal will be missing Alfonso Pedraza through suspension on Sunday, with the Spaniard handed a straight red card in the first half of the clash with Cadiz last time out.

Alberto Moreno and Francis Coquelin are also definitely out through injury, while Ben Brereton Diaz and Alexander Sorloth face late fitness tests.

Sorloth was injured in the first half of the match with Cadiz, and if he is unable to recover, there should be a starting role for Jose Luis Morales, while Dani Parejo and Etienne Capoue could be introduced in the middle of midfield.

As for Almeria, Martin Svidersky remains a long-term absentee due to a knee injury.

The visitors are otherwise in good shape in terms of their squad, with Edgar Gonzalez available again after sitting out the loss to Celta last time out through suspension.

Gonzalez should return in the middle of the defence, while there are likely to be two further changes, with Dion Lopy and Arribas both in line for starts after appearing off the bench last time out.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Jorgensen; Foyth, Albiol, Cuenca, Femenia; Baena, Parejo, Capoue; Morales, G Moreno, Pino

Almeria possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Pubill, Gonzalez, Kaiky, Akieme; Robertone, Lopy; Embarba, Arribas, Ramazani; Suarez

SM words green background

We say: Villarreal 2-1 Almeria

There are likely to be a lot of nerves in the Villarreal camp heading into this match, but it is a kind fixture for the Yellow Submarine against a side below them in the table. We are expecting this game to be tight in terms of the scoreline but are backing Villarreal to navigate their way to an important win.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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

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Villarreal's Ben Brereton Diaz celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 5, 2023
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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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