Real Madrid will be looking to stretch their lead at the top of the La Liga table when they host local rivals Getafe at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano this midweek.

Real Madrid will be aiming to make the most of Barcelona’s slip-up in the La Liga title race when they face off against Getafe in a Spanish capital derby at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Thursday night.

Los Blancos have won all their five matches since the resumption of the season, most recently defeating Espanyol 1-0. With Barcelona playing out back to back draws in the league, Real Madrid have been handed a huge advantage. Zinedine Zidane’s side are now a point above their arch rivals and could stretch that lead to four points with a win.

However, things will not be easy against a Getafe side that is vying for a top four finish. Jose Bordalas’ side are currently fifth in the La Liga table, five points below Sevilla in fourth. However, the Azulones have won just one of their five games since the restart (D3 L1), although the victory came in their last game against Real Sociedad.

The reverse fixture, played in January earlier this year, saw Real Madrid emerge 3-0 victors, with goals from Raphael Varane and Luka Modric, along with a David Soria own goal. Ahead of their latest meeting on Thursday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics

Real Madrid

Zidane has just one injury concern ahead of the Getafe game (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Zidane has just one injury concern ahead of the Getafe game (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Madrid boss Zidane has almost his entire squad available for the game against Getafe, with Nacho the only first-team member out with injury. Eden Hazard has been left out of the 24-man squad named by the manager though, with the Belgian being rested. The Frenchman will name his strongest starting XI, despite another difficult outing against Athletic Bilbao looming in a few days.

Thibaut Courtois has been excellent in goal for the Merengues and is a certain starter. Only one change is expected in the backline with Zidane continuing the trend of rotating Marcelo and Ferland Mendy at left-back, with the latter set to start on Thursday. Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos will complete the hosts’ backline.

Casemiro, who scored the only goal of the game against Espanyol last time out, is an undisputed starter at the base of the three-man midfield. Federico Valverde could drop out of the starting XI though, making way for veteran midfielder Luka Modric, while Toni Kroos should hold on to his spot in side.

Isco is likely to continue on the right flank, while Vinicius Junior should start on the left in Hazard’s absence. Karim Benzema ought to spearhead the Real Madrid attack in the derby.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Getafe

Much like his counterpart, Bordalas also has a near full-strength squad at his disposal for Thursday’s clash. Erick Cabaco is the only player whose involvement is a doubt, while Getafe will be boosted by the return of Djene Dakonam, after serving his suspension.

The visitors are likely to continue in their preferred 4-4-2 setup with David Soria, who scored an own goal in the reverse fixture, starting between the sticks. Damian Suarez and Mathias Olivera ought to continue as the full-backs on the right and left sides with Djene partnering Xabier Etxeita at the heart of the defence.

Djene Dakonam is back after serving his suspension (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Djene Dakonam is back after serving his suspension (Photo by Benjamin Cremel/AFP via Getty Images)

Marc Cucurella is pretty much a guaranteed starter on the left-side of the four-man midfield, while the defensive-minded Allan Nyom could once again be preferred on the right, to keep a check on Madrid’s full-back. Nemanja Maksimovic ought to continue in the middle of the park alongside Mauro Arambarri.

Leading goalscorer Jaime Mata, who scored a brace in the previous match, is a certainty to feature in the two-man strikeforce. 38-year-old club captain Jorge Molina, who has five league goals this term, should get the nod on Thursday, after making a substitute appearance last time out.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Soria; Suarez, Etxeita, Dakonam, Olivera; Nyom, Maksimovic, Arambarri, Cucurella; Molina, Mata

Key Stats

  • Real Madrid are the only La Liga team to win all five games since the competition restarted after the three-month hiatus. The last time they won six league games in a row in a single season was back in 2016/17, when they won the title.
  • Getafe are winless in their last 12 meetings with Real Madrid in La Liga (D1 L11). Their last victory against Los Blancos came back in August 2012.
  • Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 11 matches against Madrilenian teams (W8 D3). They have kept clean sheets in each of their last four such fixtures.
  • Jose Bordalas is winless against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in La Liga (P16 D2 L14). His teams have failed to score in 11 of these 16 matches.
  • Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has scored three goals in his last six La Liga home matches, as many as he had managed in his previous 39 appearances at home in the top-flight.

Player to Watch

Karim Benzema

Real Madrid's MVP (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s MVP (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

The 32-year-old has been the leading light in the final third for Real Madrid, delivering impressive performances one after the other, especially since the restart of the season. The fact that Benzema brings so much more to the table apart from his goals, with his movement and link-up play make him such a valuable member of Zinedine Zidane’s team.

Add to it, his impressive record against Getafe – Benzema has been involved in nine goals in his last nine matches against the Azulones (five goals and four assists), the Frenchman will once again be Real Madrid’s MVP on Thursday night.

Prediction

Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe

Real Madrid have been in brilliant form since the resumption of the campaign, bagging five wins in five matches. Getafe, on the other hand, have picked up just one victory in their five. Furthermore, they haven’t beaten the Merengues in the league for close to eight years.

Hence, The Hard Tackle predicts Zinedine Zidane & co. to pick up another win and stretch their lead over Barcelona at the top of the table to four points.

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