In matchday twenty eight of the La Liga, reigning champions Real Madrid face a trip to the Basque country, where they will be hosted by SD Eibar at the Ipurua Muncipal Stadium.
As things stand, Real Madrid are currently placed third on the table, with 54 points to their name. They are 7 points behind second placed Atletico Madrid and only a point ahead of fourth placed Valencia CF. They are just coming off a 1-2 win against PSG at the Parc des Princes.
Eibar are placed eighth on the table with 39 points to their name. They are merely a point behind seventh placed Girona FC and a point ahead of ninth placed Celta Vigo. They are very much in contention to qualify for the Europa League next season.
They are coming off a 1-1 draw against Deportivo de La Coruna at the at the Riazor stadium. In their first meeting earlier in the season, Real Madrid won at the Santiago Bernabeu by a comfortable 3-0 margin, with goals coming from Marco Asensio, Marcelo and an own goal from Paulo Oliveira.
Team News & Tactics
Jose Luis Mendilibar will likely opt for the 4-4-2 formation that his side have used for most of the season and there are expected to be a few changes to the side that started in last week’s 1-1 draw against Deportivo de La Coruna.
Jose Angel and Ruben Pena are expected to hold onto their places at left and right back respectively, with Marko Dimitrovic in goal. Anaitz Arbilla is expected to be joined by Ivan Ramis in the center of defence, who will be replacing David Lomban.
Pape Diop and Dani Garcia are likely to retain their places in central midfield, as is Takashi Inui on the left wing. Pedro Leon is expected to come into the right flank, replacing Fabian Orellana. Charles and Kike Garcia are expected to set up shop upfront and lead the line for the Azulgranas.
Probable Starting XI(4-4-2): Marko Dmitrovic; Ruben Pena, Ivan Ramis, Anaitz Arbilla, Jose Angel; Pedro Leon, Pape Diop, Dani Garcia, Takashi Inui; Charles, Kike Garcia
Zinedine Zidane is expected keep the use the same formation he did against PSG, with only one minor change to the squad. The Frenchman has a full strength squad available to him with no injuries to ay starting XI player. Luca Zidane remains the only absentee.
Keylor Navas is expected to start in goal, with Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal making up the defence. Casemiro is expected to start in midfield alongside Toni Kroos, who came on as a substitute against PSG a few days ago.
Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez are also expected to be rewarded with places in the starting XI after their performances against PSG, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema leading the line once again for Los Blancos.
Probable Starting XI(4-4-2): Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Lucas Vazquez, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Marco Asensio; Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo
- Real Madrid have won 7 of their last 8 matches against SD Eibar in all competitions.
- Real Madrid have scored a minimum of 2 goals in 7 of their last 8 matches against SD Eibar in all competitions.
- Real Madrid have won all 3 La Liga away games against SD Eibar.
- In their 3 La Liga away games against SD Eibar, Real Madrid have scored 10 and conceded only 1.
- In games games against SD Eibar, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 5 and assisted 4 goals.
Player To Watch
Real Madrid: Marco Asensio
The young Spaniard had a very good outing against PSG in what was only his second UEFA Champions League start of the season. The 22-year-old would have been disappointed to not get a goal or an assist, but he will certainly be looking to build on that performance on Saturday and continue making his case for Zidane to make him the first-choice left-winger at the club.
SD Eibar 1-2 Real Madrid
We predict a tense, hard fought victory for Real Madrid against Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men. While Real are coming off a fantastic victory against PSG in the Champions League, Eibar are no pushovers and Zidane’s men will do well to not let overconfidence creep in.
Eibar have lost only 4 matches at home in the La Liga and they can take confidence from the fact that Real Madrid have dropped points to weaker teams on numerous occasions this season. Nothing less than Zidane’s strongest starting XI will do if they are to beat Los Armeros on home turf.