Real Madrid return to La Liga action after their Champions League exploits, looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Barcelona when they take on Girona on Sunday.
Los Blancos secured a 2-1 win over Ajax in the first leg of their last 16 tie thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, handing them the advantage ahead of the second leg in March.
Santiago Solari’s side leapfrogged Atletico Madrid in their last league outing after their 3-1 triumph at the Wanda Metropolitano saw them overtake their bitter rivals and take second place in La Liga.
Here’s 90min’s preview of everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 17 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||11:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is It Played?||Santiago Bernabeu|
|TV Channel/ Live Stream?||Eleven Sports 1 UK|
The hosts have a couple of selection headaches ahead of this one, with Luka Modric ruled out through suspension and Raphael Varane unlikely to feature after missing training late on in the week.
|Real Madrid||Courtois; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo, Ceballos , Kroos, Casemiro; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.|
|Girona||Bono; Juanpe, Ramalho, Garcia, Porro, Garcia, Pere Pons, Fernandez, Portu, Garcia, Stuani|
Head to Head Record
The previous five encounters between the sides have produced a staggering 26 goals, ten of which came in the two-legged Copa del Rey quarter final matches between the sides a few weeks ago.
Girona have a track record of being able to score against the hosts, netting in each of the last five meetings against Madrid, yet their only three point scalp came in the first ever meeting between the sides back in late 2017. Since then it has been goals galore as Los Blancos rarely falter against the Catalan side.
It has been something of a revolution under Solari since the Argentine took the reins, with the club currently on an unbeaten run of eight matches. A win in the Champions League over Ajax was preceded by an impressive 3-1 success away at bitter rivals Atletico, a result that lifted them into second in La Liga at the expense of Los Rojiblancos.
Sitting just six points adrift of league leaders Barcelona, Madrid have found their magic touch, with the likes of Karim Benzema in fine goal scoring form ahead of the visit of the league’s 17th place side.
Click the photo to watch the GOALS and HIGHLIGHTS of our victory in Amsterdam! #HalaMadrid
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 13, 2019
On the other hand Girona find themselves in free fall. The club have lost their last six matches in all competitions, a slide which has seen them fall perilously close to the La Liga relegation zone.
Their most recent outing was a demoralising 2-0 home defeat to basement club Huesca, with
Here is how each team has performed in their last five matches.
|Ajax 1-2 Real Madrid (13/2)||Girona 0-2 Huesca (09/2)|
|Atletico Madrid 1-3 Real Madrid (9/2)||Eibar 3-0 Girona (03/2)|
|Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (6/2)||Girona 1-3 Real Madrid (31/1)|
|Real Madrid 3-0 Alaves (3/2)||Girona 0-2 Barcelona (27/1)|
|Girona 1-3 Real Madrid (31/1)||Real Madrid 4-2 Girona (24/1)|
On one hand you have a team unbeaten in their last eight matches, including Champions League scalps, an away victory at Atletico and a credible draw at Camp Nou. While on the other hand, you have a team staring down the barrel of potentially a seventh straight defeat.
No shocks here.
Prediction: Real Madrid 4-0 Girona