Monday, 25th August, 1900 hrs GMT
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Real Madrid will try to start their La Liga campaign with a win when they face newly promoted side Codroba at Santiago Bernabeu on Monday.
Real Madrid lost to Atletico Madrid on Friday in their Supercopa de Espana clash and coach Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping for his players to bounce back from that defeat in order to make positive start to the new campaign.
Real Madrid enjoyed a successful campaign under Carlo Ancelotti last year as they won UEFA Champions League and Copa Del Rey and now, La Liga will be the first priority for the Italian.
Team news and tactics
Star attacker Cristiano Ronaldo was a substitute in a game against Atletico but he played in a second half and proved his fitness to the coach. Carlo Ancelotti is expected to start the game with Ronaldo, which effectively mean that new signing James Rodriguez will be on bench.
Both Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria are on verge of an exit from Real Madrid and it would be a big surprise if they even get selected in 23 man squad of Los Blancos. Luka Modric received a red card against Atletico on Friday but he will start the game against Cordoba.
Meanwhile, coach Carlo Ancelotti was seemingly excited about the new La Liga season ahead of their first match. “The new season is going to be interesting for us,” said Ancelotti in a press conference.
“We have a side full of quality and we are going to try and do what we did last year. None of us have spoken about winning six titles.
“We will try and win all the titles we can. Now we start a new season and are looking forward to it. There are very competitive sides to come, like Atletico and Barcelona.”
Ancelotti applied the strategy of playing Diego Lopez in La Liga and Casillas in champions League and Copa del Rey last season. And despite the departure of Lopez, the Italian expected to continue the same strategy this year and he will give new signing Kaylor Navas his competitive debut against Cordoba.
Possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Alonso, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
It will be a historic moment for Cordoba when they mark their return to La Liga after 42 years against Real Madrid on Monday. Cordoba boss Albert Ferrer will be eager to make a positive start to his campaign but it will be an extremely difficult task ahead of him.
Cordoba sealed their La Liga place in dramatic fashion in the second leg of the Segunda play-off final last season amid chaotic scenes and pitch invasions.
Cordoba has signed former Newcastle United striker Xisco this summer and he will lead the attack for them. Cordoba has also made other new signings like of Borja Garcia, Mike Havenaar, Jose Angel Crespo and Fidel during the close-season.
New signing Fidel spoke with the journalists ahead of his sides’ clash against 32 time Liga champions. He said: “”We’re going to Madrid with all the enthusiasm in the world, with nothing to lose and to give the best image we possibly can.
“Why can’t we take something positive away from the match? You never know in football, there can always be surprises. We can give them a surprise in the first round.”
Possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Saizar; Pantic, Crespo, Bouzon, Bravo; Adel, Ekeng; Luso, Cartabia, Rossi; Xisco
Player To Watch Out For
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
World Cup winner Toni Kroos moved to Real Madrid from Bayern Munich this summer and he has already made his mark in the pre-season for Los Blancos. Kroos will partner alongside Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso in the midfield and the trio is expected to control the tempo of the game against Cordoba.
Real Madrid 4-1 Cordoba
Real Madrid will be playing in front of their home crowd and they won’t find it too difficult to overcome newly promoted Cordoba. The likes of Ronaldo, Benzema and Gareth Bale will try to exploit their relatively weaker opposition fully and at least four goals are expected from Real Madrid in a high scoring game.