Squad news


10 Dec 2016
Garitano travel with his Deportivo to the Bernabéu and is ready to repeat the lineup for the first time on the season. Real Madrid is searching to impose a new unbeaten mark and face the game without Ronaldo and Benzema.

Referee: Santiago Jaime Latre
Kick-off: 20h45 CET (Santiago Bernabéu)

Real Madrid have spent 34 official games without losing, it’s an impressive mark tying the record at the club from the campaign 1988/89. It means that Los Blancos could establish a new record if they are able to beat Deportivo in this game. The last time they lost an official game was in the UEFA Champions League facing VfL Wolfsburg (0-2, April 6).

Meanwhile, Deportivo are coming after an “awakening” at the moment of scoring goals.  The Galicians have netted ten times within the last three liga games, the last time they did the same was at the end of the campaign 2012/13 as Fernando Vázquez’s Depor scored ten goals in the games against RCD Mallorca, UD Levante and Real Zaragoza. 

And this is a tough game to extend the rally, after all Deportivo have been unable to defeat Real Madrid during the last eleven meetings in liga and always faced problems playing for la liga at the Santiago Bernabeú. After 44 visits, Los Blanquiazules only picked seven positive results there and are dragging a mark of nine straight losses with an aggregate score of 6-32.

For the first time on the season coach Gaizka Garitano is ready to repeat a lineup in straight games, the refreshing victory over Real Sociedad, and the fact that no new injuries have hit the squad, are allowing the Basque man to present the same starting eleven of last Monday, though he also tested a 4-5-1 draw with three centre midfielders and with Pedro Mosquera claiming the spot of Emre Çolak, a possibility that he later admitted in the press room.

Team news: Raúl Albentosa was fit to play on Friday and went directly into the roster for the trip to Madrid. Laure and Bruno Gama are the only two players at the injury room, while keeper Rubén Martinez, midfielder Álex Bergantiños and attacker Borja Valle are out for tactical reasons.

Man to watch: Striker Florin Andone. The Romanian continues on the spotlight after his explosive moment, he has netted five goals within the last four games in liga and the comparisons with Lucas Pérez have already started. Last season the Galician attacker spent seven straight matchdays scoring a goal, in order to tie the mark Andone would need to score a goal in the last two matchdays of 2016 plus the first of next year.

Picked players: (18) Tytoń, Lux (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Arribas, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro, Luisinho (defenders); Borges, Pedro Mosquera, Çolak, Guilherme, Fajr, Carles Gil (midfielders); Joselu, Marlos Moreno, Ryan Babel & Florin Andone (strikers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Tytoń – Juanfran, Albentosa, Sidnei, Navarro – Borges, Guilherme – Carles Gil, Çolak, Babel - Andone.

The end of 2016 is sweet for Real Madrid, they are moving forward in Copa and Champions League, while they have a comfortable lead in liga, even playing one less game than the rest -they skip the last matchday of 2016 for been playing the Club World Cup- they will end the year at the top of the standings if they pick one point in this match.

So, coach Zinedine Zidane is so optimistic that he decided to make massive rotations for this game. Neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Luka Modrić, nor Benzema were picked fir the match (the latter was also dragging a muscle problem). Ronaldo’s absence is a relief for Depor as previously he scored eleven goals against the Galicians. Thus Álvaro Morata and Asensio are expected to command the offensive line.

Team news: Playmaker Isco and centre midfielder Mateo Kovačić didn’t play in midweek’s game for the Champions League and now they will return to the starting formation, Midfielder Toni Kroos (toe fracture) and striker Álvaro Morata (thigh) are already fit and will be starters.

Man to watch: Striker Álvaro Morata. Without Ronaldo or Benzema, the Madrilenian striker is now responsible of the goals. He is currently the third best scorer at the team with four goals in favour plus providing two assists.

Picked players: (19) Navas, Casilla, Rubén Yáñez (goalkeepers); Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Danilo (defenders); Kroos, James, Casemiro, Kovačić, Asensio, Isco (midfielders); Lucas Vázquez, Mariano & Morata (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Navas – Danilo, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo – Kroos, Kovačić – Lucas Vázquez, Isco, Asensio – Morata



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