Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
September 22, 2013; 20:00 GMT
Buoyed by a spectacular midweek victory over Galatasaray in the Champions League, Real Madrid will be hoping to snap up all three points on offer when they return to La Liga action against local rivals Getafe at the Santiago Bernabéu. Not many teams have been known to return from ‘Hell’, Gala’s home stadium, with an emphatic scoreline like 6-1 and Carlo Ancelotti will hope that it provides the team and fans with the right set of motivations and lift to spark up a slightly shaky start to the season. This fixture will also be the first time when Real Madrid play at home after Gareth Bale’s signing and the Welshman looks set to make his Bernabéu Bow.
Getafe have had an indifferent start to the season, managing a solitary victory in four La Liga fixtures so far. Fortunately for them, the 2-1 victory came against Osasuna only last week and will give some hope to manager Luis Garcia and his squad against Real Madrid, although they haven’t been able to inflict ‘damage’ of any note against their more illustrious rivals at the Bernabéu, in the recent past.
Team News, Tactics & Lineups
On the injuries front, Iker Casillas was terribly unlucky to suffer the knock which prematurely ended his first start for Real Madrid this season and if at all, the Spanish captain will be watching from the sidelines, come Sunday. Raphael Varane and Fabio Coentrao have resumed training this week but remain unlikely to start. Xabi Alonso too remains sidelined.
On the line-ups front, Carlo Ancelotti will be setting up his Real Madrid side in the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation but some changes will be expected to the side that started midweek in the Champions League. Diego Lopez will return between the posts, replacing Casillas, while Arbeloa could step aside for young Nacho, who will take up the left back role. Carvajal would take up the right flank, while Pepe and Sergio Ramos will continue with their partnership in the centre of defence.
Luka Modric, who has been nothing short of a revelation under Carlo Ancelotti, will return to his favoured spot in the midfield pivot. Partnering him this time, however, would be Asier Illarramendi who could be making his first start at the Bernabéu, starting ahead of Sami Khedira who was consistently over-run in the game against Villareal. In the attacking trio, Gareth Bale will replace Di Maria to make his bow at the Santiago Bernabéu. He has scored goal and provided one assists so far and will be looking to add that figure when steps up on the pitch. Partnering him would be the two men who have been powering Real Madrid’s campaign so far, Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco.
Up front, Karim Benzema, who his enjoying his best start to a season with Real Madrid, will be leading the line.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Diego Lopez(GK); Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Nacho; Illarramendi, Modric; Bale, Isco, Ronaldo; Benzema
Defender Medhi Lacen’s injury will be the least of manager Luis Garcia’s concerns when he fields his Getafe side against Real Madrid. They have managed just one victory against two defeats in the season so far and could not have selected a more difficult place to visit to kickstart their campaign.
Getafe will be lining up in the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation but there will be tinkering with the squad which won against Osasuna last week. Miguel Moya will start between the posts, assisted by a back-four of Juan Valera, Rafa, Alexis and Sergio Escudero. Pedro Mosquera and Michel will form the pivot in the centre of midfield, assisting the attacking trio of Angel Lafita, Diego Castro and former Real Madrid man Pedro Leon. Miku, who scored the two winning goals for Getafe against Osasuna, will retain his place in leading the line.
Getafe’s weakness in defending against creative gameplay will likely be exploited by Real Madrid, who have no dearth of such players, but will have to be on guard against their opponents aerial prowess and ability to slug it out, if necessary.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Moya(GK); Valera, Rafa, Alexis, Escudero; Mosquera, Michell; Lafita, Leon, Castro; Miku
- Cristiano Ronaldo registered his 21st hat-trick for Real Madrid when he banged in 3 goals against Galatasaray. This was days after he signed a new contract that will keep him at the club till 2017-18.
- Real Madrid have won their last 13 fixtures at home in La Liga.
- Getafe have conceded at least four goals against Real Madrid in their last three fixtures at the Santiago Bernabéu, a trend they are going to find difficult to change.
- Real Madrid have won 8 of their last 9 matches against Getafe in all competitions.
Player to watch out for
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
It has been a spectacular journey from Southampton’s academy to playing for one of the most illustrious clubs in the history of the game, but it is a journey that is only just beginning for Gareth Bale. The Welshman has been settling in reasonably well in the squad and will be hoping to leave his mark on the home crowd when he makes his first appearance at home for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid 4-1 Getafe
Considering the current run of form of both teams, it is difficult to envisage anything but a victory for Real Madrid. Getafe might manage to score, but they will find it exceedingly difficult to stand up against a squad that boasts the talent it does. A routine victory for Los Blancos is in the offing.
Blast From The Past