Julen Lopetegui is unlikely to make big changes when Real Madrid welcome Getafe to Santiago Bernabeu for their La Liga season opener on Sunday.
Julen Lopetegui will be eager to kickstart his first league campaign as the Real Madrid manager with a bang when his side plays hosts to Getafe at the Bernabeu on Sunday. The former Spain boss has a near full-strength squad at his disposal, but he has some big decisions to make before the derby.
The only players who will miss out against Getafe are Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Odriozola, with the duo recovering from their respective short-term injuries. The big bone of contention for the Real Madrid boss though, is the decision surrounding the selection of the goalkeeper.
Thibaut Courtois is believed to be the long-term solution, who is knocking at the door to become the no. 1 this season. But, Keylor Navas is likely to retain his place between the sticks for now, although he will surely be looking over his shoulder nervously.
Lopetegui was asked about his choice of goalkeeper during his pre-match press conference as well. While the Real Madrid manager was coy upon being presented with the query, he did say that he was relishing the opportunity of managing two of the best goalkeepers in the world.
“There’s no magic formula. I believe in managing things on a weekly basis and we’ll look and see what’s best for the team at each particular stage. We’ve got two brilliant options in Keylor Navas and Courtois. We’ll try and manage things well and make the best decisions for the good of the team. There’s going to be fierce competition, but that’s only a good thing for the team.”
Ahead of the Costa Rican, the back-four should have a familiar look as well. With all the first-choice defenders fit and available, we should see Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo completing the backline.
In midfield, Casemiro’s availability is shrouded in doubt after the Brazilian picked up a knock against Atletico Madrid earlier this week. The Brazilian might be rested, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos starting in the midfield pivot, and Isco lining up in what is becoming a customary place in the no. 10 slot.
Alongside Isco in attack, Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio should be the wingers, with Lucas Vazquez an option from the bench. Spearheading the Real Madrid attack against Getafe, will be the in-form Karim Benzema, who will look to continue his goalscoring form from pre-season.