Tuesday, September 22, 19:00 BST
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid made a miserable start to their new season by losing very important points against relatively modest opponents but they registered two back to back wins against FC Basel and Deportivo La Coruna respectively and now, the fans are hoping for a big win against Elche on Tuesday.
Real Madrid currently sit at 7 position in the La Liga table and Carlo Ancelotti will try to reduce the gap with leaders FC Barcelona by winning all 3 points against Elche. The Los Blancos have looked dominant in their wins against Deportivo and FC Basel and they will expect to continue their good run in this midweek fixture.
Team News and Tactical Brief
The Los Blancos were struggling for a right balance after the departure of Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso earlier but it now appears that new signing James Rodriguez is adjusting quickly to the playing style of Carlo Ancelotti.
Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti came under tremendous pressure when the Los Blancos lost two successive games against Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad but things look improved now. The team has managed to score 13 goals in their last two games but question marks remain over their defence and Ancelotti will be hoping for a solid performance from the pair of Ramos and Varane.
Captain and keeper Iker Casillas was booed by the Santiago Bernabeu faithful in a game against Atletico and he will be hoping for a better reception from the fans this time around. Meanwhile, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez came forward yesterday to extend his support to Casillas. “The only thing I can say about Casillas is that he deserves our respect,” Perez said.
Perez urged the Real Madrid fans to be patient with the captain. He said: “He’s been at the club for fifteen years and sometimes he doesn’t deserve the boos that he gets. I don’t like it and it doesn’t make us stronger. Our strength lies in unity. Let’s let him work without pressure and let’s let the coach do what he needs to do.”
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brilliant hat-trick while Javier Hernandez and Gareth Bale scored a brace in their 8-2 rout of Deportivo and Ancelotti is not expected to make any major changes in the winning team. The only change expected is the inclusion of Javier Hernandez ahead of Karim Benzema. Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has also hinted at the possible inclusion of Hernandez in the starting XI.
“If tomorrow Karim does not play, he will understand,” Ancelotti told reporters on today. “Against Deportivo he played very well.
“We will change something tomorrow. For me it was important that Chicharito scored (against Deportivo). He struck twice and has confidence now. We felt comfortable with him in our team. I do not look to who scores and who doesn’t score, I look how effective my overall attack is.”
Meanwhile, Real Madrid have no fresh injury concerns. Khedira and Jese are long term absentees while the situation of Pepe is not clear yet. But Varana is expected to start ahead of the Portuguese.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, James; Bale, Rodriguez, Ronaldo
Elche will try to improve their record of not winning any game against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. They have lost 17 while drawn three games against the Los Blancos in the capital.
Elche currently sit at 13th place in the La Liga table. They have struggled to score in the opening 4 goals of the season as they have managed only 3 goals so far. Elche’s defensive record is also not very encouraging as they have conceded 5 goals so far.
Elche travel to Madrid tomorrow with no injury concerns but task ahead of them is extremely difficult and only realistic target of them should be to avoid defeat. Elche coach Fran Escriba is likely to start the game with Jonathas as the lone striker while attacking midfield consisting of Rodrigues, Coro and Jose Angel.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Tyton; Suarez, Lomban, Pelegrin, Albacar; Pasalic, Mosquera; Rodrigues, Coro, Jose Angel; Jonathas
Player to watch out for
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Bale has made an excellent start to the new season and he is expected to cause all sorts of troubles for Elche defence.
Real Madrid 4–0 Elche
All attackers of Real Madrid are in devastating form at the moment and it will be a big surprise if Elche concede less than 3 goals in this match. Big win for Real Madrid is on cards.
Blast from the Past