Real Madrid will head north-east to the ancient city of Huesca on Sunday afternoon, in La Liga’s equivalent of the David versus Goliath tale.
The visitors will look to secure their fourth win in a row in all competitions and will be expected to return to the capital with all three points, with their hosts currently residing in last place, propping up some of the country’s most gilded clubs.
Check out 90min’s preview of Sunday’s game below.
How To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 9 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:15 GMT|
|Where Is it Played?||Estadio El Alcoraz|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||beIN La Liga|
World Cup winner Toni Kroos in unlikely to be fit in time for this weekend’s clash, with the German publicising his ongoing knee problems on Twitter earlier this week.
Quick update: Still working on my knee problems after the Roma match…
Back asap as always.
— Toni Kroos (@ToniKroos) December 6, 2018
Santiago Solari will also be without midfielder Casemiro who has sat out the last four games with a sprained ankle. In the absence of two of the club’s best midfielders, Spanish youngsters Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente have enjoyed a prolonged run in the starting XI alongside Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric.
Huesca will also be without some key players for Sunday’s game with defenders Luisinho and Ruben Semedo both sidelined through injury.
|SD Huesca||Jovanovic; Miramon, Pulido, Etxeita, Akapo; Gomez, Musto; Gallar, Rivera, Ferreiro; Hernandez|
|Real Madrid||Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Ceballos, Llorente; Vazquez, Benzema, Bale|
Head to Head Record
Sunday’s game will be the first time in history that these two sides have met in a competitive fixture, with the reason being Huesca had never resided in the Spanish top tier until this season. On the other hand, Los Blancos have featured in the competition every single year since its inception in 1929.
The game will take place at Estadio El Alcoraz in Huesca which has a capacity of just 7,800 – quite a contrast to the 80,000+ fans Madrid are used to working in front of at home.
Real Madrid’s season continues to be defined by inconsistency and Los Blancos currently reside in fifth place in La Liga. Solari’s side have won eight of their last ten in all competitions, however intertwined with this impressive run of wins were two embarrassing defeats to Barcelona and Eibar.
Coincidentally, Eibar are the only team Huesca have beaten in the league this season, doing so in the curtain-raiser back in August. However, since that opening game, Huesca have played the role of the small fish in an exceptionally large pond. They have drawn four and lost the other nine, meaning the Spanish minnows are rock bottom with just seven points.
Both sides go into this one having played in the Copa del Rey just three days prior, with the two sides registering very contrasting results.
Here’s how each team performed in their last five fixtures.
|SD Huesca||Real Madrid|
|Huesca 0-4 Atheltic Bilbao (06/12)||Real Madrid 6-1 Melilla (06/12)|
|Celta Vigo 2-0 Huesca (01/12)||Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia (01/12)|
|Athletic Bilbao 4-0 Huesca (28/11)||Roma 0-2 Real Madrid (27/11)|
|Huesca 2-2 Levante (24/11)||Eibar 3-0 Real Madrid (24/11)|
|Alaves 2-1 Huesca (11/11)||Celta Vigo 2-4 Real Madrid (11/11)|
Anything but a comfortable win for Real Madrid would send shock-waves around the footballing world. They are a team desperate to instil some consistency into this uncharacteristically shoddy campaign. An iota of encouragement for Huesca is the fact only one team has conceded more goals on the road in La Liga than Real Madrid this season. That team? Huesca. Maybe not, then.
Prediction: Huesca 0-4 Real Madrid