2022-23 La Liga week 1 preview: Valladolid vs Villarreal

Newly promoted to La Liga Real Valladolid is set to face Villarreal in their first assignment this 2022-23 season. Which side will come out with the win this August 14?


Valladolid will be hosting this match, as Villarreal CF starts the league on the road for the month of August. The latter is also competing in the play-off phase of the 2022-23 UEFA Europa Conference League, awaiting the victor between Hajduk Split of Croatia and Vitória de Guimarães of Portugal in the third qualifying round.

An added wrinkle in this faceoff is Sergio Asenjo, who transferred from El Submarí Groguet to the Pucela this summer. He is battling for the first team slot between the sticks against Jordi Masip. It remains to be seen who manager Pacheta will rely on this matchup and for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, taking over Asenjo’s spot at Villarreal is veteran keeper Pepe Reina, who returned to the club after two decades. Between that time, the well-traveled 39-year-old had stints in England, Italy, and Germany.

valladolid vs villarreal cf


Villarreal retained their place at La Liga last season, finishing seventh in as many seasons as manager Unai Emery has been at the helm. Nevertheless, the past 12 months have been eventful: they put up a fight against Chelsea at the 2021 UEFA Super Cup, and they reached the semi-finals of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League.

On the other hand, the team from Castile and León yoyoed back to the topflight after spending a season at the Segunda División. They were second on the 2021-22 table and went as far as the round of 32 at the Copa del Rey.

Recent form (last five matches) 

Real Valladolid
drew with Lazio, 0-0
drew with Rayo Vallecano, 0-0
drew with Brest, 0-0
defeated Ponferradina, 2-1
drew with Burgos, 0-0

Villarreal CF
defeated Inter, 4-2
defeated Levante, 3-1
drew with Fulham, 1-1
defeated Southampton, 2-1
defeated Reims, 1-0


It’s Valladolid vs Villarreal!

Their last six meetings against each other have Villarreal ahead (three wins, 2 draws, one loss). In the 2020-21 La Liga season, they prevailed both times with a similar scoreline, 2-0. 

It is hard to be confident in Valladolid based on both history and recent form. It would be considered an upset if they somehow find a way to come out on top this weekend. 


Villarreal to win