Squad news

PREVIEW: REAL MADRID – DEPORTIVO (LIGA)

21 Jan 2018
A Depor in relegation and with defensive problems visit a questioned Real Madrid that’s starting to think of Copa and Champions instead of la liga.

Referee: David Fernández Borbalán
Kick-off: 16h15 CET (Santiago Bernabéu)

STATISTICS: LACKING GOALS
Real Madrid have scored 32 goals in the first round. Not a bad number (6th highest mark in la liga), but not as high as the expected one taking in mind the potential of one of the two giants clubs in la liga. It’s their worst mark after the first 19 matchdays since the campaign 2006/07 (28).

And the big problem is located with the BBC trident as Cristiano Ronaldo (4), Bale (4) and Benzema (2) has only scored ten goals on the season, that’s even two goals lower than the number scored by Depor’s trident with Andone (5), Lucas (4) and Adrián (3).

Meanwhile, Deportivo arrive to the meeting been in relegation and after been unable to defeat Real Madrid during the last thirteen meetings in liga. Also, the Galicians always faced problems playing for la liga at the Santiago Bernabeú stadium. After 45 visits, Los Blanquiazules have only picked seven positive results there and are dragging a mark of ten straight losses with an aggregate score of 8-35, though in the last one they caressed the victory (winning 2-1 at minute 83 to end losing 2-3).

DEPORTIVO: DEFENSIVE PROBLEMS
Depor travel to Madrid dealing with big defensive problems, not only for been the second worst defensive line in liga after allowing 37 goals in 19 matches (Las Palmas is the worse with 46), but also due to the casualties in defensive positions.

And it’s that both Raúl Albentosa and Sidnei Rechel are injured. The latter didn’t pass a late test on Saturday after been doubtful all week long due to a muscle problem. Now, coach Cristóbal Parralo will have to improvise as the only centre-back available is Fabian Schär.

In the end Parralo had to pick Edu Expósito and Steve One from Fabril in order to fill the gaps, the latter is even expected to be a starter in this match. So, the team is only visiting one of the two giants in liga with big doubts for the recent defensive performance of the team, but also pending of the debut in a sensitive position.

Team news: Sidnei only lasted five minutes in Saturday’s training, so he is out of the game and joins Raúl Albentosa and Fede Cartabia at the injury room. Bruno Gama and Przemysław Tytoń are out for tactical reasons. Zakaria Bakkali returns after been unavailable against Valencia CF.

Man to watch: Steve One. The debut at the elite for the 23-year-old centre-back and it takes place in a big stadium: The Bernabéu. The Majorca-bon defender was signed during the summer coming from Mallorca B. He has made 14 appearances with Fabril at Segunda B and already played in Copa with Depor in the 2-3 win at UD Las Palmas (November 29)

Picked players: (19) Rubén Martínez, Pantilimon (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Gerard Valentín, Schär, Steve One, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Borges, Guilherme, Pedro Mosquera, Edu Expósito, Çolak, Bakkali, Carles Gil, (midfielders); Adrián, Lucas Pérez, Andone & Borja Valle (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Rubén Martínez – Juanfran, One, Schär, Luisinho – Guilherme, Mosquera, Borges – Lucas Pérez, Andone, Adrián.

REAL MADRID: IDENTITY CRISIS
It is hard to believe that Real Madrid is in crisis, but it’s what the media has been proclaiming within the last month. The Madrilenians were looking really strong after dispatching FC Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, but only four months later they are fourth at the standings and are far away from the leaders (19 points under Barca).

The problem is that the team has lost its identity of been an offensive team used to score a lot of goals. This is reflected in the numbers of their star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has only scored four goals in liga (scoreless in his last three appearances).  This situation has been joined by the spread rumor that he wants the same salary of Messi and that the club is, for the first time, not willing to fulfill his wishes, which could lead to his exit in the next summer window.

Los Blancos are beginning to digest the idea that they should focus their efforts in the other two competitions, Copa Del Rey and Champions League and, beyond what Depor can resist, face in this game the challenge of a demanding public that’s beginning to blame coach Zinedine Zidane.

Team news: Two centre-backs are out of the game: Sergio Ramos (thigh) and Jesús Vallejo (muscle). Striker Karim Benzema is on the roster after surpassing a muscle problem, but won’t be a starter in the game.

Man to watch: Attacker Gareth Bale. The injuries have continued to affect the Welsh star, at the beginning of the season he spent three months on the sidelines, but is currently regaining his form and has scored three goals within his last three appearances, including a brace against RC Celta.

Picked players:  The roster will be released early on Sunday

Predicted lineup: (4-3-1-2) Navas – Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo – Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos – Isco – Bale, Ronaldo.

ARCHIVE NEWS JAN/18

ZAPPING

 

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