Real Madrid will look to get back to winning ways following three lacklustre performances when they travel to face a high-flying Deportivo Alaves side.
Following their defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday night, Madrid have not only failed to win any of their last three games, but have also failed to score in their last three matches for the first time since 2006, after winnng four of their first five games of the season.
Madrid will be desperate to get back to winning ways against an Alaves side who now sit just three points behind them in sixth place. In what looks to be the perfect time to play the Champions League holders, Alaves will be hoping to cause what would be a huge upset when the sides meet at the Santiago Jaime Latre.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Saturday’s clash..
Alaves 1-4 Real Madrid (29/10/16)
Despite coming into the clash as the league leaders, Real Madrid found themselves behind early after Brum Silva Acosta gave the hosts a shock lead after just seven minutes.
However, just ten minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty to get his side back on level terms before putting Los Blancos in front just after the half hour mark.
Alvaro Morata’s 84th minute strike from outside the area found its way into the net to put the visitors out of sight, before Ronaldo completed his hat trick, a hat trick against his 20th different La Liga team.
The win ensured Madrid stayed two points ahead of Barcelona at the top of the league and they would keep hold of top spot for the rest of the season, triumphing over their bitter rivals.
Ruben Duarte vs Gareth Bale
With Ronaldo departing in the summer, Gareth Bale has shone so far in his absence.
He’s scored four goals and bagged two assists in his first seven games in all competitions, with Madrid winning four of their first five La Liga games and getting the defence of their Champions League title off to a perfect start having beaten last year’s semi finalists Roma 3-0.
However, after a fast start, Bale and his Madrid side have dropped off in recent weeks, having not won in their last three games. Alaves will also take plenty of confidence in the fact that Madrid have failed to score in their last three games, with Ruben Duarte set to match up against the Welshman.
He’ll know if he can keep Bale quiet for 90 minutes, his team will have a very good chance of getting something from the game. However, should Bale and the other front two get into their rhythm, it could be a long evening for Alaves.
The home side will still be without Rodrigo Ely who continues to recover from a serious cruciate ligament injury, while Patrick Twumasi faces a race against time to recover from a sprained ankle in time for Saturday’s clash.
Unfortunately for Madrid fans, it looks as though they’ll still be without Marcelo who has missed Real’s last two games as he continues to recover from a calf injury.
One piece of good news though is that Bale is set to return to action, having been rested during Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Potential Starting Lineups
Alaves (4-4-2): Pacheco; Aguirregabiria, LaGuardia, Navarro, Duarte; Gomez, Brasanac, Wakaso, Jony; Guidetti, Calleri.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Asensio.
It’s been a tough two weeks for Julen Lopetegui’s men and they are very low on confidence, however a win against a good Alaves side would be exactly what they need.
Whilst Alaves will be a tough nut to crack, Real will have too much for them and will keep up the pressure on Barcelona.
Prediction: Alaves 1-3 Real Madrid