Real Madrid are hit with Gareth Bale’s injury as they get ready to face Deportivo La Coruna in a La Liga match after losing their El Clasico encounter 2-3.
After being defeated by Barcelona in a nail-biting El Clasico match, Real Madrid will have to face Deportivo, who currently sit exactly 14 spots below them. Real are tied with Barcelona as far as the points are concerned, and the title race still remains pretty open between both clubs.
The Madrid club will have to prep themselves for busy weeks ahead – both in La Liga, as well as Champions League – and their manager Zinedine Zidane is likely to rest his star players ahead of the big matches.
Unfortunately for Real Madrid and their fans, the club was actually on an impressive run as they knocked Bayern Munich and former boss Carlo Ancelotti out of the Champions League. In fact, it was Barcelona which struggled against Juventus, and lost out on a semi-final spot to the Italian club. The fact that Barcelona won the way that did against a seemingly stronger Real Madrid side was indeed surprising.
However, Los Blancos now have a chance to redeem themselves as they travel to Deportivo tomorrow night. There is little Madrid can do to mess this game up and lose out on three precious points.
Probable line-ups and tactics
The biggest concern for Zidane and his men will be Gareth Bale’s absence. The Welshman suffered a nasty injury during their ill-fated El Clasico game, and is likely to be out for a month at the least. This also means that he will have to miss out on the crucial Champions League fixtures.
Zidane did receive some backlash for playing Bale when he was supposedly still recovering from a previous injury. However, right now, they can only hope that Bale can return back to form soon.
Real will also have to play without their captain Sergio Ramos due to a suspension he received for a two-footed lunge on Lionel Messi in their recent match. However, they will receive a boost by the return of Raphael Varane from a hamstring problem.
As far as tactics are concerned, Real Madrid are likely to not stress too much upon this fixture. A look at the current standings itself can give even an outsider a fair idea of what to expect. Integral members of the team are likely to be rested ahead of important matches next week. At the same time, they also need to be pick up three points to retain their title race with Barcelona.
Predicted line-up: Navas; Danilo, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Kovacic, Isco; Asensio, Benzema, Ronaldo
Deportivo La Coruna
Although there is a huge difference in the points of Real Madrid and Deportivo, the Riazor stadium has proven to be unlucky for several top La Liga clubs this season.
Big names like Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Valencia were all held to draws there, while Real’s arch-rivals Barcelona endured a shocking 2-1 defeat last month. Pepe Mel’s side have been fighting hard to retain their place in the La Liga, and that fight is gathering pace.
Deportivo’s striker Florian Andone will be looking to capitalise on Sergio Ramos’s absence. The fact that they beat Barcelona last month will fill them with a sense of confidence which might set Real up for another nasty upset.
Pepe Mel will be a happy man ahead of the match since he will have a fully fit squad at his disposal. There have not been too many injury concerns for the team.
Predicted line-up: Lux; Juanfran, Arribas, Sidnei, Luisinho; Guilherme, Borges; Gama, Gil, Kakuta; Andone
Deportivo La Coruna are without a clean sheet in seven consecutive games against Real Madrid.
Real Madrid are on a seven games winning streak against Depor.
The visitors were first to score in the last five matches between these two.
There were more than 2.5 goals in their last couple of games.
Ultimately, Real Madrid will emerge as the stronger side on paper. They will be eager to get back to winning ways after the El Clasico loss. Also, to remain in the title race with Barcelona, Real will need to pick up three points.
For Deportivo on the other hand, this match will be more about trying to restrict the visitors to a draw, if all else fails. They will be aware of the fact that Real will be hungry for a win, and if they can somehow use that to frustrate Real’s players, they might have a slim chance at salvaging a draw.
The match is likely to end in a 1-0 victory for Real Madrid, provided Deportivo do not have any tricks up their sleeve.