Municipal de Ipurua, Eibar
Sunday, 29th November
Eibar host Real Madrid in what seems like a one-sided clash. However, Eibar have been in good form this season and can cause enough trouble to give Rafael Benitez additional headache. European hopefuls Eibar have lost just twice so far this campaign, drawing 5 and winning 5 games in the process. The home side will be determined not to let Real Madrid enforce their 3rd defeat of the season. Benitez, on the other hand, should be slightly wary of his opponents as his team is probably in a very bad shape at the moment. Coming into the game after winning away from home against Shakhtar, you would expect Real Madrid to be confident. However, the win against Shakhtar was a strange one for Los Blancos as the Spanish team went 4-0 up only to concede three towards the end of the game. Also, Ronaldo and co are struggling to find their feet in the La Liga having lost their last two league games to Sevilla and Barcelona, with the second defeat coming at home with an embarrassing scoreline of 4-0.
Unbeaten in the last three games, Eibara s manager Jose Luis Mendilibar will be hoping his men are able to continue their promising run of form. Standing sixth in the table, Eibar will be hoping to carry on their attempts to remain in one of the European qualification positions with Valencia closing in on them. The key to Eibara s success lies in their defence. The stingy defence of Eibar has leaked in only 12 goal in 12 games (the same amount as Barcelona) so far and their success on Sunday largely depends on their ability to stop the Real Madrid attackers.
Ander Capa will be available to play in the right-back position after serving a suspension. On the other hand, Keko will be sitting out this one after being sent-off in the last game. Japanese winger Takashi Inui is likely to replace the suspended player.
Real Madrid in their last game against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League proved that their attack still has the firepower. However, the defence showed glaring weaknesses as they leaked 3 goals towards the end of game. The visit to Eibar gives Real Madrid a chance to get their footing back in the league after having lost their league leaders status in just 2 games which were back-to-back defeats. Real Madrid are expected to give all out in attack right from the kick-off as they just cannot afford to make any mistakes in this game.
Real Madrid are facing some serious injury issues as Ramos, Varane and Marcelo remain out injured. Another key player that will miss the game is Isco, who will serve the first of his two-match suspension after receiving a red card in the Clasico. Casemiro is likely to start ahead of Toni Kroos as the German is struggling for form while the Brazilian gives the Real Madrid defence much needed security.
Probable Line-Up (4-2-3-1): Navas; Danilo, Pepe, Nacho, Carvajal; Modric, Casemiro; Rodriguez, Bale, Ronaldo; Benzema;
Player to watch out for
After a few disappointing performances, Cristiano Ronaldo proved his worth in the Champions League tie against Shakhtar as the Portuguese was involved in all the four goals Real Madrid scored on the night. Scoring 2 and setting up 2, Ronaldo looked to be in very good form and the forward will be hoping to emulate that performance on Sunday in the La Liga game against Eibar.
Eibar 1-2 Real Madrid
It may look like an easy tie for Real Madrid on paper but it may not be as easy as it seems for Beniteza s men. They might have a tough time to score goals and their depleted defence is unlikely to keep a clean sheet. However, Real Madrid have to be the favourites to return home with the three points.