In their first La Liga match after the international break, Real Madrid travel the Canary islands to face UD Las Palmas at the Estadio Gran Canaria.

As things stand, Real Madrid are currently placed third on the La Liga table, only a point above fourth placed Valencia CF and four points behind second placed Atletico Madrid. UD Las Palmas on the other hand are 18th on the table, 7 points from safety.

Real Madrid are coming off a thrilling 6-3 victory against Girona FC, while Las Palmas drew their last match against Deportivo de La Coruna. In their first meeting this season at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid emerged victorious by a margin of 3-0, with goals coming from Isco, Marco Asensio and Casemiro.

Tactics & Team News

Las Palmas

The Canary Islanders are expected to retain their 4-2-3-1 formation for this match and Paco Jemez is expected to miss out on the services of Pedro Bigas, Emmanuel Emenike and Gabriel Peñalba.

Leandro Chichizola is expected to start in goal, with Matias Aguirregaray, Michel Macedo, Dani Garcia and Ximo Navarro starting in defence. Oghenekaro Etebo is expected to replace Javi Castellano, and join Vicente Gomez in a double pivot in midfield.

Tana is expected to come into the starting XI in place of Alberto Aquilani and set up shop on the left wing, with Alen Halilovic slotting into the right. Momo is expected to start in the attacking midfield position, with Jonathan Calleri leading the line for Las Palmas.

Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Leandro Chichizola; Michel Macedo, David Garcia, Ximo Navarro, Matias Aguirregaray; Vicente Gomez, Oghenkaro Etebo; Alen Halilovic, Momo, Tana; Jonathan Calleri

Las Palmas vs Real Madrid(1)

Real Madrid

Dani Carvajal is out suspended for this tie, while Sergio Ramos and Isco are both injured for this tie. Madrid are expected to revert to the 4-3-3 formation for this tie. A number of big names are expected to be rested for this match, to keep them fresh for Juventus next week.

Keylor Navas is expected to start in goal, with Theo Hernandez, Nacho Fernandez and Achraf Hakimi joining Raphael Varane in defence. Toni Kroos is expected to be rested for this tie and Luka Modric and Casemiro are expected to be joined by Mateo Kovacic in midfield.

Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t expected to travel with the team for this match. Lucas Vazquez and Gareth Bale are expected to start on the right and left side of an attacking trio, with Karim Benzema leading the line for Los Blancos at the Estadio Gran Canaria.

Probable Starting XI(4-3-3): Keylor Navas; Achraf Hakimi, Raphael Varane, Nacho Fernandez, Theo Hernandez; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Mateo Kovacic; Lucas Vazquez, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale

Las Palmas vs Real Madrid(2)

Key Statistics

  • Las Palmas have only won 18 Liga matches this entire season.
  • Real Madrid are undefeated in 21 of their lat 23 away Liga matches.
  • Real Madrid have scored a minimum of 2 goals in their last 7 matches against Las Palmas in all competitions.
  • These two sides have faced each other 67 times in all competitions. Real Madrid have won 45 matches, while Las Palmas have won 7.
  • In 33 matches at Las Palmas’s home stadium, Real Madrid have won 16 matches, Las Palmas have won 7 and the points were shared on 10 occasions.

Player To Watch

Real Madrid: Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale of Wales reacts during their China Cup International Football Championship Semi-final match against China in Nanning in China's southern Guangxi region on March 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / - / China OUT (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale reacts during their China Cup International Football Championship Semi-final match against China in Nanning in China’s southern Guangxi region on March 22, 2018. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

The Welshman has scored 4 goals in his last 3 games for club and country. It hasn’t been the easiest season for Bale, but he is still only second to Cristiano Ronaldo on Real Madrid’s scoring charts with 12 goals to his name, in only 29 appearances this season.

Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio are both ahead of him in the pecking order and the 28-year-old will need to put in a top class shift against Las Palmas and really give Zidane something to think about if he wants to make the starting XI against Juventus on Tuesday.

Prediction

UD Las Palmas 0-4 Real Madrid

The islanders have won only 2 games this entire calendar year, while Real have been in scintillating form off late. Given that they have a Champions League quarterfinal clash against Juventus the following week, we can expect Los Blancos to field a relatively second string side.

However they just have far too much quality in their ranks to be troubled by the Islanders, who are fighting for their survival. We expect the reigning champions to try and pick up where they left off and begin building some confidence and momentum before their big game against Juventus.

Real need this victory to keep their third place spot for another week and some Real players will take the opportunity to make their case for a starting XI spot on Tuesday. We expect them to show no mercy against Paco Jemez’s men and we expect the visitors to cruise to a comfortable victory.

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