3 Key Battles That Could Decide Real Madrid’s Clash With Malaga on Saturday

Real Madrid welcome Malaga to the Bernabeu this weekend as they look to gain momentum after a disappointing start to their La Liga title defence.

Barcelona are seemingly running away with the league title, as they have done in the past, so Madrid will need to make a statement of intent with a convincing performance against Malaga. 

However, their opponents will not go down easily as they are fresh off an impressive victory over Deportivo La Coruna and are eager to upset the hosts.

3. Isco vs Adrian Gonzales

One player to watch in this clash will be former Malaga man Isco, who will look to cause many problems for the defence of Malaga. The Spaniard has been in great form for Madrid and has been a source of creativity in the very underwhelming Los Blancos side.

Real Madrid youth product Adrian Gonzales will be another attacking midfielder looking to make an impact.

Malaga signed the 29-year-old in the summer from Elche and he has brought a spark to the side, which is something they will need if they are to score against Madrid, who have kept two consecutive clean sheets.

2. Dani Carvajal vs Chory Castro

Chory Castro is fresh off a great performance in Malaga’s 3-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna, where he assisted the first goal and scored the second before Borja Baston won the game for the home side late on.

Dani Carvajal had been one of Real’s most consistent performers before a career threatening heart condition  kept him sidelined for multiple games. However, the Spaniard has made a swift recovery and has regained his spot in the team.

Carvajal now has the chance to establish himself in the Madrid side by keeping in-form Castro quiet during the clash.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Luis Hernandez

Ronaldo has had a horrific start to to the La Liga campaign, putting up historically bad numbers while Real Madrid are now 10 points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

The Portuguese forward has managed just one La Liga goal and will be keen to get his name on the scoresheet in the wake of his poor start to the campaign. 

With that being said, the pressure will be on centre-back Lucas Hernandez to keep the Galactico at bay. Hernandez will be chasing the 32-year-old around the pitch and ensuring that he is starved of service on the ground and in the air. 

The battle between the two men will be important in Malaga keeping a clean sheet and frustrating the Madrid side.

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Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Malaga on Saturday

Real Madrid welcome Malaga to the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend as they look to continue their chase of Barcelona, who have raced into a 10 point lead over Los Blancos.

Real have struggled out of the gates this season as Zidane’s men and most specifically Cristiano Ronaldo have toiled for goals.

However, with Malaga coming to town, Real have the chance to register a win and attempt to close the gap between themselves and Barcelona.

Goalkeeper

  • K. Casilla

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With Keylor Navas still being monitored from day to day due to injury, Kiko Casilla is expected to resume as goalkeeper for Los Blancos as they look to grab all three points.

Defence

  • Carvajal

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  • Varane

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  • Vallejo

    Vallejo3

  • Marcelo

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Real reverted to the defence that finished the game against Atletico Madrid when they played APOEL in midweek in the Champions League.

Captain Sergio Ramos is still recovering from the broken nose he suffered during the Madrid derby last weekend.Nacho has filled in for Ramos since the injury and has adapted quite well to the change, however, he is suspended for the fixture against Malaga, after picking up a yellow card in their last league game.

With Ramos in doubt for the fixture and Nacho suspended, Zidane may be forced to play his Spanish youngster Jesus Vallejo. 

Midfield

  • Asensio

    Asensio20

  • Casemiro

    Casemiro14

  • Kroos

    Kroos8

  • Isco

    Isco22

Zidane has a problem that would be the envy of every manager. He has too much talent and not enough spaces in his starting XI to accommodate everyone. 

The form of Isco and Asensio makes it difficult for Zidane to make an omission from the starting lineup.

Casemiro has been a fixture in Zidane’s side this year and that does not look likely to change as the Brazilian has been one of the most consistent players for the reigning champions. 

Kroos will add creativity going forward but can also do some of the dirty work as Asensio and Isco look to play further up the pitch.

Forwards

  • Benzema

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  • Ronaldo

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Benzema and Ronaldo both grabbed braces during the Champions League clash with APOEL and Zidane may look to revert back to the front two in the absence of Gareth Bale.

The two forwards have struggled for goals this La Liga campaign and it would be beneficial for both to start the game.

It would not be a surprise, however, if Benzema does not complete the whole 90 minutes, as he has been substituted in his last two games.

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Real Madrid vs Malaga Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Prediction & More

Malaga travel to Spain’s capital this weekend as they face reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

The visitors will look to build on a close win over Deportivo La Coruna in their last league game when they play Zidane’s men.

Real have had a difficult start to their La Liga campaign and were seen as very sloppy in their last game against city rivals Atletico Madrid. 

The reigning champions will look to bounce back from the disappointing draw and search for all three points against a struggling Malaga side.

Zidane’s men are 10 points adrift of leaders Barcelona and as they begin to pick up their form, here’s all you need to know ahead of the clash.


Classic Encounter

Malaga CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Both sides have a lot to lose going into the weekend as Real look to gain a foothold in the title race, while Malaga look to escape the relegation battle. The game is set to be a thriller with so much on the line for both sides.
Another encounter between these two sides which saw a lot at stake was their last game, where Madrid won all three points to clinch La Liga title that had eluded them since 2012.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema helped capture the title for Los Blancos as they went on to win the double, also winning the Champions League.

Key Battle

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Luis Hernandez

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As Ronaldo looks to end his goal drought in La Liga, centre-back Luis Hernandez will have his hands full. 

It is no easy task trying to stop the Portuguese forward and with the game being so important to Real’s chances of catching Barca, the result may come down to whether the Spaniard can keep Ronaldo at bay.

Malaga have struggled this season, with the side having the second worst goal difference this campaign, with only Las Palmas conceding more goals.

Ronaldo, however, has struggled to find the net in La Liga with only one goal so far this season and with the Ballon d’Or holder eager to put an end to the drought, Hernandez will need to be on top of his game.


Team News 

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga

Real will be without Sergio Ramos, who went off injured with a broken nose during the Madrid derby.

Keylor Navas is also set to miss out, as is Malaga’s Zdravko Kuzmanovic, who is absent due to a muscle problem.
Potential Real Madrid Lineup: Casilla, Carvajal, Varane, Vallejo, Marcelo, Kroos, Caseimiro, Asensio, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Potential Malaga Lineup: Jimenez, Rosales, Hernandez, Baysse, Carlos, Keko, Juanpi, Adrian, Castro, Rolan, Penaranda.

Prediction
Malaga are coming off the back of a closely contested win over Deportive La Coruna and will be eager to threaten Madrid, but Zidane’s men will want to bounce back from their disappointing result against Atletico last week.

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The two sides will meet one another for the first time in La Liga this season, with Madrid fresh from midweek Champions League football after beating APOEL 6-0. It is sure to be a goal fest, but whether all the goals come from Real remains to be seen.

Prediction: Real Madrid 4 – 1 Malaga

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Former Man City Star Robinho Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

​Former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan star Robinho has been sentenced to a nine-year prison term after being found guilty of sexual assault, according to ​reports in Italy.

The alleged act took place during the Brazilian’s stint with Milan in 2013, with a then 22-year-old Albanian woman accusing him, along with five other men, of indecently assaulting her at a night club.

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Robinho, who now plays for Athletico Mineiro in his homeland, has been capped 100 times as an international player for Brazil, also having become the Premier League’s most expensive star when he signed for Man City in 2008 for £32.5m.

His time in England, though, was not as successful and he was later moved on to the San Siro for less than half of City’s initial outlay, making them just £15m when he departed..

The attacker did go on to win the Serie A title with the Italian side, teaming up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano to conquer the division. And after a five year spell, he secured a transfer to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergande.

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Robinho had previously been accused of sexual assault during his City days, but was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. He hasn’t had the same luck in Italy, however. But the verdict is still on hold as the Italian justice system allows for several levels of appeal and wont make the sentence effective until after such proceedings – if he is still deemed to be culpable.

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Real Madrid President Perez Outlines 5 Transfer Targets to Revitalise Los Blancos’ Season

​Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is becoming increasingly frustrated by his club’s underachievement on the pitch this season and has therefore outlined a five man transfer shortlist in a bid to revitalise Los Blancos’ lethargic start to the campaign, which sees them trailing their fierce rivals Barcelona by ten points in La Liga.  

Rumours of dressing room unrest, disjointed performances and misfiring strikers has not helped manager Zinedine Zidane’s cause, so action is going to be taken by the club’s hierarchy to revert the slide and support their manager.

According to rumours site Diario Gol the key transfer targets to transform a faltering season are a selection of the most sort after footballers in world soccer. 

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In goal, long term target Manchester United’s David De Gea remains a priority to replace Keylor Navas, although Athletic Bilboa’s Kepa is an alternative option if a deal is unable to be agreed. 

In defence, PSG’s Marquinhos is preferred but the club also like Aymeric Laporte, Iñigo Martínez and David Alaba.

After performing so well against Real Madrid in the Champions League group games Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli’s ability is very much appreciated. Finally, up front there is (according to the report) much admiration for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and Spurs’ Harry Kane both of which could add some serious fire power to a misfiring forward line.


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Florentino Perez is not a man to rest on his laurels. He appreciates that the season is not yet lost, but he needs to act and act quickly to turn the wavering Real Madrid juggernaut around.

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Neymar Responds to Real Madrid Speculation Amid Rumours of €200m Summer Approach

Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil superstar Neymar has responded to growing speculation that he could move to Real Madrid at the end of the season, despite only leaving Barcelona in a landmark €222m deal four months ago.

Ever since he left for France, the Spanish media has consistently claimed that the 25-year-old is unhappy and regrets his decision.

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That led to claims, notably from Marca earlier this month, that Real could be in the market for the Brazilian at around €200m, up to €450m after taking into account a bumper contract.

Neymar himself has consistently denied the negative speculation about his happiness as well as the suggestions that he does not see eye to eye with PSG coach Unai Emery.

Now, after helping PSG break a Champions League record for goals scored in a single group campaign (24) following Wednesday night’s 7-1 hammering of Celtic, the player has responded to talk of specifically joining Real Madrid.

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“Damn, how heavy are you with the issue?” he said to the press after the game.

It would appear that Neymar has no time for the topic and is committed to PSG, with whom he said upon signing he wants to win everything.

The Champions League remains the big ambition for the Parisian club. Their best showing in the competition to date came in the form of a semi-final appearance in the mid-1990s.

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The only goal they have conceded in five games so far is the shock opener scored by Celtic’s Moussa Dembele on Wednesday and they will looking to make a serious statement by going to Munich on matchday six early next month and winning to enter the Last 16 with a 100% record.

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Zinedine Zidane Announces ‘Real Madrid Are on the Right Track’ Following Champions League Win

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has claimed that his side are ‘on the right track’ following their impressive 6-0 Champions League win against APOEL on Tuesday night.

A first half double from Karim Benzema accompanied by goals from Luka Modric and Nacho Fernandez gave Los Blancos a comfortable 4-0 lead heading into half time. Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace then sealed a win that was already air tight early in the second half.

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And now, after a slow start to the season, the European champions’ boss Zidane claims his side are on the up:

“We are on the right track, playing well. Our game is clearly growing, because scoring six away from home is no mean feat”, Zidane told official website 

“You could say we were playing a weak team, but that is not true. We were focused, scored early and did not concede.

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“It has been a great matchday for us and the important thing is we have got through the group. Those who play less got some minutes and that’s great. In terms of the group we can do nothing.”

He then went on to concede that he doesn’t expect Tottenham to slip up in their final group game against APOEL. If Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham lose, Los Blancos will qualify in first – though Zidane doesn’t seem to hold out much hope:


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“Even if we win our final game we will still be second and we have to get on with that. We shouldn’t be pessimistic, it will not change things. I know we have a long journey home, we can rest tomorrow and on Thursday focus on the Saturday’s La Liga game”.

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UEFA to Investigate Dani Carvajal Over Suspected Deliberate Yellow Card Against APO

UEFA are set to investigate Real Madrid right back Dani Carvajal after the defender seemed to receive a yellow card on purpose during his side’s convincing 6-0 victory over APOEL.

Tuesday night was an enjoyable one for the Spanish champions. Leading the game 4-0 at half time, the match was all but won – before Cristiano Ronaldo put the final couple of nails in the coffin with a brace early on in the second half.

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However, according to ESPN, UEFA are to investigate a yellow card handed to Dani Carvajal for time-wasting late on in the game. 

The defender received the booking in the 90th minute when taking too long to take a throw, which means he’ll now receive a one match ban – missing Madrid’s final group game against Borussia Dortmund.

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With the club already securing progress into the knockout phases of the Champions League, the competition’s governing body suspect his yellow card may have been earned on purpose – something which breaches Article 15 of its Disciplinary Regulations – punishment for which is a two-match ban.

This isn’t the first time Los Blancos have been pulled up on suspicion of  this breach, having  Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and manager Jose Mourinho all being reprimanded for something similar in the 2010/11 season.


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Carvajal has been Real’s first choice right-back since joining the first team in 2013, and has proven useful in the back line. Zidane’s second choice in that position comes in the form of Achraf Hakimi – recently progressing into the first team from Castilla.

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The 6 Players Who Have Scored 40+ Champions League Goals for One Club

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema scored his 40th and 41st Champions League goals for Los Blancos in a clash against APOEL Nicosia, joining only a select few to have bagged 40 or more goals for a single club in the competition.

Here are the six players to have achieved the feat so far…

6. Thomas Muller – 40

The clinical German striker has scored 40 goals in 94 Champions League games for Bayern Munich. He made his Champions League debut in 2009, scoring against Sporting CP in a 7-1 win.

Muller has played in three Champions League finals – the 2010 final, the 2012 final against Chelsea in which he opened the scoring and the 2013 final, the only one he has won.

Another impressive Champions League stat surrounding the German is that he was the youngest player ever to record 50 competition wins, at the age of 26 years and 72 days. Around 14 months younger than Lionel Messi.

5. Karim Benzema – 41

Real Madrid dismantled Apoel Nicosia 6-0 in the group stage of the Champions League on Tuesday night. Karim Benzema scored two of the goals, taking his tally to 41 Champions League goals for Real Madrid. 

The Frenchman has made 79 Champions League appearances for Real Madrid, making his debut in the competition for the club in 2009 in a group stage tie against Marseille.

He has won the cup three times with Madrid in 2014, 2016 and 2017. 

4. Alessandro Del Piero – 42

Alessandro Del Piero has scored 42 Champions League goals and all 42 were for the Old Lady, Juventus. 

He scored one of the all time great Champions League goals against Dortmund in the 1997 final with an incredible backheel with his left foot, although Juventus actually lost that final 3-1.

Del Piero played in four Champions League finals – 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2003. The 1996 final against Ajax was the only one which he won, however. 

Del Piero made 90 Champions League appearances between the years 1995 and 2009.

3. Raul – 66

The lethal Spanish striker Raul scored a whopping amount of Champions League goals; 71 to be exact and 66 of them came when he played for Real Madrid. 

He played in three Champions League finals – 1998, 2000 and 2002 – winning all three and scoring in both the 2000 and 2002 finals. His final Champions League goal for Real Madrid came against AC Milan in a 3-2 group stage loss in 2009. 

Raul is the 3rd highest European Cup goalscorer of all time and was at one point number one, but the next two entries on this list smashed his record.

2. Lionel Messi – 97

The Argentine magician is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time and it’s easy to see why with an astonishing 97 Champions League goals for Barcelona in 119 games.

He is the 2nd all time highest goal scorer in European Cup history, has the most Champions League hat-tricks with seven (shared with Cristiano Ronaldo), has the most Champions League group stage goals with 60, and has the most Champions League round of 16 goals with 21. 

He has also won the competition four times, in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015, scoring in the 2009 and 2011 finals.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 98

Cristiano Ronaldo is the all time highest goal scorer in European Cup history with 114 goals. Out of those 114, 98 of them have been for Real Madrid.

98 goals for one team in the Champions League is phenomenal, but considering he has played 93 Champions League games for Real Madrid, it becomes almost supernatural. 

Ronaldo also holds the most Champions League goals in a calendar year with 18 and after Tuesday’s demolition of APOEL, he became the third player in the Champions League era to score in each of the first five games of a season. 

Along with Benzema, he has won three Champions league trophies with Real Madrid.

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Apoel Nicosia 0-6 Real Madrid: Los Blancos Cruise Past Cypriots to Go Through to Knockout Stage

Real Madrid progressed through to the Champions League knockout stage on Tuesday evening with an emphatic 6-0 win over Apoel Nicosia.

However, after coming back from behind against Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hostpur have all but guaranteed top spot in Group H.

Madrid put out a very strong side, and that showed against the European minnows who struggled to contain their potent attack all evening, collapsing after just half an hour.

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​Madrid almost opened the scoring in the second minute with a devastating counter attack – Karim Benzema escaped up the right, crossed the ball deep for Ronaldo to chest down but the star’s shot was fired straight at Nauzetwith the rebound poked behind for a corner.

The APOEL goalkeeper looked hazy after colliding with his own defender’s knee during the clearance but managed to stay on.

​The Champions League holders kept pushing and were eventually rewarded in the 23rd minute when Luke Modric pounced on a poor flamboyant clearance from Brazilian midfielder Vincius and volleyed in from 25 yards out to make it 1-0.

Benzema then got his first Champions League goal since February in the 39th minute as the APOEL defence parted like the red sea, leaving the Frenchman to pick his spot and finish coolly to double their lead.

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The floodgates were most definitely open and it was 3-0 just two minutes later – Rafael Varane rose highest at the corner and his flick on was bundled in by Nacho Fernandez.

The European heavyweights managed to make it four before half-time with another brilliant counter attack resulting in Ronaldo uncharacteristically playing the ball square for Benzema to tap in.

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Madrid seemed to be scoring every time they went forward and the APOEL changing room was probably wishing the full-time whistle had just been blown rather than the half-time one.

It didn’t get much better for them after the restart though, as Ronaldo finally got his goal with an iconic hanging header for his seventh goal in five Champions League games.

The 54th minute saw Ronaldo double his personal tally after Benzema pressured Jesus Rueda into making a poor back pass which the Portuguese star pounced on and hammered home into an open net.

Young Spanish striker Borja Mayoral was given a run out for the latter stage of the game and he missed a sitter in the 82nd minute – not that it really effected the final result.

The game looked like it could break the record that Liverpool equalled in their 7-0 demolition at Maribor, but Madrid took their foot off the gas for the last half hour, with one eye possibly on Saturday’s fixture against Malaga.

This trouncing could be exactly what is needed to allow Real to forget about their La Liga struggles and kick on from their poor form at the start of this season.

They have one more group stage match against Borussia Dortmund left, but topping their group remains unlikely with Spurs unlikely to drop points at Wembley against this evidently poor Apoel Nicosia side.

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