Estadio Riazor, Galicia
September 20, 2014; 15:00 BST
Real Madrid visit Deportivo de La Coruna following two successive domestic defeats and will be itching to put points up on the board. Having won only one out of their three opening fixtures of the campaign, Carlo Ancelotti’s men stand a point below their opponent as they visit the Estadio Riazor on Saturday.
Team news and tactics
Deportivo La Coruna
Despite Deportivo’s rich legacy in the Spanish La Liga, they have recently flirted with relegation and made a comeback to the La Liga this season. Their campaign opened with a defeat and a draw but a win over Eibar has given the club the confidence as they look to host Real Madrid in what will be a potentially important game.
Deportivo go into this match with their squad intact though doubts persist regarding the condition of Luis Farina. They will be expected to organise themselves tightly in the defence with the hope to contain the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. They have conceded 4 goals in 3 games and have scored the same amount but will be keenly aware that Real Madrid start the game as the favourites to win 3 points.
German Lux will start beween the posts and will be helped by Alberto Lopo and Pablo Insua in the defence. Canella and Laure are expected to start on the right and left flank respectively and will be burdened with the responsibility to contain Ronaldo and Bale in the game.
Manager Victor Fernandez has a lot of options in the midfield and is expected to start Dominguez and Medunjanin in the central field with Luis Farina playing in a more attacking position if he is fit. It will be interesting to see who the manager choses to play on the wings and as the striker though it is likely that Toche and Cavaleiro will be in the starting eleven on Saturday.
Expected Line Up: German Lux; Lopo, Insua, Canella, Laure;Dominguez, Medunjanin, Farina, Cavaleiro, Cuenca ; Toche
Carlo Ancelotti and his players will know that a third consecutive defeat is something that will not be tolerated at a club like Real Madrid. Even though the Italian led the Los Blancos to their much awaited ‘La Decima’, defeats against Real Sociedad and city rivals Atletico Madrid has put him under intense scrutiny. Though a 4-1 win over Basel in the Champions League definitely lifted the mood at Santiago Bernabeu, Real will be expected to cruise past Deportivo on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will once again be the focal point of Real’s attack and Benzema is expected to lead the attack up front. It will be interesting to see if Ancelotti continues to start with new signings Kroos and James Rodriguez or if Isco or Illarramendi are given a chance on Saturday.
The manager made it clear that the players will have to put in extra effort in order to remain fit and pulled out Gareth Bale and Luka Modric as the ones needing to improve their physical condition.
“We need to display a more regular performance during the full games, but I don’t think the physical condition of our players is the cause of our worse second halves. Some players are at a great level, like Kroos or Benzema. Others, like Bale or Modric, need to improve their physical condition a little, but we will get through this”
The manager also made it clear that he was not worried about trailing Barcelona and Atletico Madrid so early in the season and is only concentrating on improving Real Madrid’s style of football.
“We are not worried about our distance to FC Barcelona or Atlético de Madrid right now. We just need to improve our game and our physical condition and good results will come.”
Meanwhile Pepe is unavailable and hence Varane is expected to start alongside Sergio Ramos while Casillas is expected to take his place between the posts for Real Madrid.
Expected Line Up: Casillas; Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa; Kroos, Modric, Rodriguez, Ronaldo, Bale; Benzema
Player To Watch Out For
Cristiano Ronaldo is on a brilliant run following his return from injury and he shone both against Atletico Madrid and Basel. Fast, strong and supremely talented, Ronaldo will be Real’s biggest threat on Saturday and it will not be surprising to see the Portuguese to score for a third consecutive time and get the club three vital points.
Deportivo 1-3 Real Madrid
Depsite all their attacking prowess, Real’s defence remains to be its Achilles heel and having conceded against Basel on Tuesday, it will not be surprising if Real concede against Deportivo on Saturday. However the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema are likely to ensure that they score enough goals to tilt the result in their favour.