Real Madrid’s La Liga campaign continues this weekend as they make the trip to Girona on Sunday, as game week two begins.
Los Blancos started their new campaign and life without superstar Cristiano Ronaldo with an easy 2-0 over local rivals Getafe, in a very one-sided affair.
There is always a hatful of goals when these two sides meet and their natural competitiveness always shines through to produce a very enjoyable game for the neutral.
With the star-studded lineup that Real possess, the story is never told just on paper. Madrid’s inconsistencies in the league last season saw them hand the La Liga crown to fierce rivals Barcelona, they will be hungry to get their hands on once more after winning the UEFA Champions League for a third successive time in Kiev.
Here’s a look at what we can expect for Real Madrid’s clash with Girona.
Real Madrid 6-3 Girona (18th March 2018, La Liga)
An epic recent encounter saw nine goals scored – with four of them from their former star Cristiano Ronaldo. It was a game that was attack versus defence throughout.
While their attack was very much on song, it was a defensive calamity on the other end of the scale.
But who else could have been the individual that would change the game for Madrid, other than Ronaldo. A heroic performance from the Portuguese skipper and multiple Ballon d’Or winner that helped Madrid get the three points and move them up to third above city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Goals from Lucas Vasquez and Gareth Bale, with a very inspired performance from Luka Modric, helped guide Los Blancos to victory at the Bernabeu. They came out fighting in the second half after a few defensive blunders in the first period.
Looking at Madrid’s showing last Sunday, Los Blancos were hardly troubled by their city rivals Getafe as they hardly needed to get out of second gear to get the job done. Carvajal’s marvellous chip gave the home side the early initiative and his strong attacking performance had Madrid ticking from the off.
Gareth Bale scored the decisive goal just six minutes after half-time, Asensio’s cross landed at the feet of the Welshman – whose low drive squeezed inside the far post and went under the goalkeeper.
The scoreline did not do them justice, however, as they fully controlled procedures from start to finish. Los Blancos hit the post on two occasions which would have made the result slightly more telling.
Manager Julen Lopetegui has confirmed that Jesus Vallejo will not travel to Catalonia after picking up a knock in training. Other than that, there are no new injury concerns for the manager, as he looks to further implement his playing style into his side.
With the squad depth that they have, Lopetegui is expected to make a few changes that started against Getafe. New signing Thibaut Courtois has yet to make an appearance for Real Madrid after he was reportedly not registered to play in the UEFA Super Cup Final. Casemiro may swap with Isco as the Spaniard had a fairly quiet game at the Bernabeu and was switched out just after the hour mark.
After a long summer for Luka Modric – reaching the World Cup Final with Croatia – he also came on a substitute in their first game and is in contention to make his first start here.
Predicted Lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Fernandez, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Asensio.
If Real Madrid are at their best, then there’s no question on what the outcome will be.
However, they had some trouble on the road last season. Six draws and three defeats away seriously hampered their La Liga title charge, and they will need to shrug that off in order to catch Barcelona this term.
If Madrid defend is up to scratch this time out though, they should win with ease.
Prediction: Girona 1-3 Real Madrid