Reigning champions Real Madrid host a relegation threatened Deportivo de La Coruna at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday in the La Liga.
Real Madrid succumbed to a narrow 0-1 victory to Villarreal last week, but have since bounced back with a victory against CD Leganes in the Copa del Rey. They currently sit at fourth place in the league table, with 32 points to their name after 18 games played.
Zidane’s men are currently level on points with Sevilla, who have played 2 games more and are 19 points behind table toppers Barcelona. Deportivo de La Coruna on the other hand, are placed 18th and are a mere 2 points away from safety.
Team News & Tactics
9 changes are expected to the side that started in the 0-1 victory against Leganes on Thursday. Sergio Ramos, Jesus Vallejo and Karim Benzema are all likely to remain sidelined with injury and Zidane is expected to revert back to their standard 4-3-1-2 formation.
Keylor Navas is expected to return in goal, with Marcelo and Nacho Hernandez replacing Jesus Vallejo and Theo Hernandez in defence. Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric are all likely to come back into the side, replacing Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos.
Isco will likely be brought back into his central attacking midfield role, with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line together, replacing Borja Mayoral Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio upfront.
Probable Starting XI(4-3-1-2): Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Isco; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale
Deportivo de La Coruna
Cristóbal Parralo is expected to miss out on the services of Federico Valverde, Fede Cartabia and Raul Albentosa. Brazilian center-back Sidnei’s participation is doubtful and it is likely that he will be subject to some late fitness tests to determine his availability.
They are expected to stick to the 4-3-3 formation for this tie, with only a few changes expected to the starting XI. Ruben Martinez will likely start in goal, with Juanfran, Sidnei, Fabian Schar and Luisinho retaining their places the back four.
Pedro Mosquera and Celso Borges are expected to set up shop in central midfield with Guilherme slotting inbetween them as a defensive midfielder. Adrian Lopez and Lucas Perez will likely be deployed on the wings, with Florin Andone leading the line for the Branquiazuis.
Probable Starting XI(4-3-3): Ruben Martinez; Juanfran, Sidnei, Fabian Schar, Luisinho; Pedro Mosquera, Guilherme, Celso Borges; Adrian Lopez, Florin Andone, Lucas Perez
- Real Madrid have won their last 10 matches against Deportivo de La Coruna at the Santiago Bernabeu across all competitions.
- Real Madrid have scored a minimum of 2 goals in each of their last 10 matches against Deportivo de La Coruna.
- Deportivo de La Coruna have only won 2 out of their 10 away games across all competitions this season.
- At the Santiago Bernabeu, Deportivo de La Coruna have only ever won 4 out of the 47 games they’ve played, losing 38 and drawing 5 across all competitions.
- Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 goals and provided 4 assists in a mere 9 appearances against Deportivo de La Coruna.
Player To Watch
Real Madrid: Gareth Bale
The Welshman has netted 6 times and provided 1 assist in a 5 games against Deportivo in all competitions. The former Tottenham man has had a difficult season with regard to injuries and is only beginning to find his feet after his most recent setback.
He’s netted thrice and provided 1 assist since returning from injury, taking his tally up to 7 goals and 5 assists for the reason. It remains to be seen how the Welsh international how he fares against a side who are arguably his favourite Spanish opponents.
Real Madrid 2-1 Deportivo de La Coruna
It would suffice to say that Real Madrid are going through their worst run of form in recent memory. A positive result is desperately needed after last week’s loss at the Bernabeu if the reigning champions wish to stay in the top four for another week.
Deportivo haven’t won a game since December, but even they will fancy their chances against such an erratic Real Madrid side. The fact that they are currently fighting to maintain their top flight status for another season makes them even more dangerous. Nonetheless, we predict a hard fought, narrow victory for Real Madrid.