Real Madrid will look to keep up the pace with league leaders Barcelona with a victory on Sunday, when they host SD Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The reigning champions will look to close the gap on Barcelona with a win against Jose Luis Mendilibar’s Eibar side, who going into this weekend on the table. The Basque side have won only 2 of their 8 La Liga matches so far, drawing 1 and losing the rest.

Real Madrid on the other hand, have managed to shake off a difficult start to the season and finally find a bit of rhythm. Injuries haven’t been good to them so far this season, but that is hardly a viable excuse when you have the kind of talent that Real Madrid do in their ranks.

Tactics & Team News

Real Madrid

Zidane is still expected to be without the services of Gareth Bale, Mateo Kovacic and Dani Carvajal going into this tie. He will likely stick to a 4-3-1-2 formation this time arund instead of a 4-3-3 that he deployed against Getafe the previous week.

Keylor Navas’ injury means that Kiko Casilla will likely start in goal against the Basque side. Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Rapahel Varane and Achraf Hakimi are all expected to retain their place in the squad from their midweek tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos can all be expected to start this tie in midfield. Isco will also likely start in behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Real Madrid have had 4 days to rest, so it is unlikely he will need to field a less than full strength side.

Probable Starting XI(4-3-1-2): Kiko Casilla; Achraf Hakimi, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Isco; Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid vs Eibar(1)

SD Eibar

Jose Luis Mendilibar has long list of injuries in his squad that he will have to deal with. Yoel Rodriguez, Frac Rico, Pedro Leon, Ivan Alejo and Ivan Ramis are all expected to miss out and the Spaniard is expected to deploy his starting XI in a 5-3-2 formation for this match.

This formation helped end their 3 game losing streak last week, when it was used against Deportivo La Coruna and given Real Madrid’s attacking prowess, using 5 players in defence doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Only one change is expected in the squad from last week’s draw.

Ivan Ramis is expected to make way for David Lomban. The center-backs will likely be Lomban, Paulo Oliveira and  and Anaitz Arbilla. Spanish duo David Junca and Ander Capa will likely retain their places in the squad as the wingbacks.

Joan Jordan will likely play just in behind the two striker Sergi Enrich and Kike, much like the role Isco is expected to play for Real Madrid. Takashi Inui didn’t feature in their last match, but may come into the middle of the park in place of Joan Jordan this time around.

Probable Starting XI(5-3-2): Marko Dmitrovic; Ander Capa, Anaitz Arbilla, Paulo Oliveira, David Lomban, David Junca; Gonzalo Escalante, Joan Jordan, Dani Garcia;  Kike, Sergi Enrich

Real Madrid vs Eibar(2)

Key Statistics

  • Real Madrid have won 6 of their last 7 matches against Eibar in all competitions.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 5 goals and registered 4 assists in 5 games against SD Eibar.
  • Eibar have failed to score in 5 of their last 7 Liga matches.
  • Real Madrid have scored a minimum of 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches against SD Eibar.
  • Eibar have conceded a minimum of 3 goals in their last 3 away matches in the La Liga.

Prediction

Real Madrid 3-0 SD Eibar

Los Blancos are coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League and will be desperate to get back to winning ways. They’ve managed to string a number of victories together, albeit in extremely unconvincing fashion.

This game will be seen as yet another ‘must win’ match and we can expect the reigning champions to come out all guns blazing. A 16th placed Eibar shouldn’t pose as too much of a challenge for Real, and Zidane and the Bernabeu will expect nothing less than all three points with a convincing scoreline.

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