Real Madrid will be aiming to go to the top of the La Liga table when they lock horns with Cadiz at Estadio Ramon de Carranza this midweek.
As the fallout from the now close-to-disbanding breakaway European Super League continues, Real Madrid will be hoping to set aside the distractions and turn their attention towards the defence of their La Liga title when they face off against Cadiz away from home on Wednesday night.
Real Madrid lost a bit of ground in the title race to leaders Atletico Madrid as they were held to a goalless draw by Getafe this past Sunday. The result, coupled with Atletico’s 5-0 thumping win over Eibar has meant that Zinedine Zidane’s side are left three points behind their neighbours with arch-rivals Barcelona just a couple of points behind with a game in hand.
Amid all the chaos created by the renegade European Super League – a project spearheaded by Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez which met with a rather quick demise, it is up to the manager and the players to leave that behind and concentrate at the game at hand.
Cadiz, though, will look to make the most of the situation and come away with a positive result against the defending champions. The minnows are in a decent run of form, having lost just one of their last six league games, with their latest encounter ending in a goalless draw against Celta Vigo. Alvaro Cervara’s men are 13th currently with just three points separating them from eighth-placed Granada.
The reverse fixture had seen Cadiz pull off an upset 1-0 win over Real Madrid courtesy of a 16th-minute goal from Anthony Lozano. Heading into their latest meeting, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
— Cádiz Club de Fútbol (@Cadiz_CF) April 20, 2021
Alberto Perea misses out for Cadiz while Alex Fernandez will also be unavailable for selection. Juan Cala, however, could play some part after missing the last game against Celta Vigo, as indicated by manager Alvaro Cervera. The hosts ought to line up in a 4-4-2 formation, setting up two banks of four to shield the goalkeeper who ought to be Jeremias Ledesma.
Fali should start at the heart of the Cadiz deefence partnered by Marco Mauro if Cala is not fit enough to start. The duo are likely to be flanked by the full-back pairing of Iza Carcelen and Alfonso Espino, neither of whom will be encouraged to get forward regularly.
Further protection should come from the central midfield partnership of Jose Mari and Jens Jonsson while Salvi Sanchez and Jairo Izquierdo take up the slots out wide from where they act as the attacking outlets when Cadiz do break forward. The wide duo will be the chief source of chances for the two strikers, who ought to be Ruben Sobrino and Alvaro Negredo.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Ledesma; Iza, Fali, Mauro, Espino; Sanchez, Mari, Jonsson, Izquierdo; Sobrino, Negredo
Real Madrid, meanwhile, have been handed some boost on the roster front heading into the game as Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane are back to full fitness and have been named in the travelling squad. Eden Hazard is still not ready though while Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos also miss out.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) April 20, 2021
Nacho and Casemiro are back in contention after serving out their respective suspensions. Thibaut Courtois, who was the star of the match for Real Madrid last time out, is a certain starter in goal. He should be shielded by the backline comprising of Nacho, Varane, the impressive Eder Militao and Marcelo, with Carvajal likely to be eased back into action given how long he has been out.
With no Modric or Kroos, Casemiro and Isco pick themselves in the middle of the park for Wednesday’s game in what will be a 4-2-3-1 on paper, but essentially change to a 4-1-4-1 with Casemiro staying back and Isco taking up advanced positions in the attacking midfield area, alongside Marco Asensio.
Vinicius Junior, who is starting to show on a regular basis why he is held in such a high regard, should slot in on the left flank while his compatriot Rodrygo Goes gets the nod out wide on the right. Karim Benzema should be back to lead the line after being benched for the last game in favour of Mariano Diaz.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Nacho, Varane, Militao, Marcelo; Casemiro, Isco; Rodrygo, Asensio, Vinicius; Benzema
- Real Madrid are undefeated in their last 11 away matches in La Liga.
- Cadiz have lost just one of their last five La Liga matches, taking eight points from their last available fifteen.
- Real Madrid have lost only one of their last seven La Liga games against Cadiz – which came in the reverse fixture earlier this term. They have never lost two in a row against them.
- After beating Real Madrid 1-0 already this term, Cadiz could become the first newly promoted side to record a league double over Real Madrid since Real Burgos in 1990/91.
- Zinedine Zidane has beaten 27 of the 28 different sides he has faced as Real Madrid manager in La Liga, failing only against Cadiz.
Player to Watch
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) April 19, 2021
Having been given a bit of a breather in the last game against Getafe, Real Madrid suffered without having Karim Benzema at the top of their attack. The Frenchman adds so much value to the side, with not just only his goals but his link-up play and how he brings those around him into the game. That was indeed missing the last time out with Mariano Diaz on the field.
However, given there are few games left in the season, Real Madrid cannot afford any slip-ups and that would mean their best players, like Benzema, start every game. The Frenchman has scored against 34 of the 35 La Liga teams he has faced till date, with Cadiz being the only exception. He will be hoping to set that right this midweek and fire Real Madrid to a much-needed win.
Cadiz 0-1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid welcome a few key members like Raphael Varane, Nacho and Casemiro back into the side which will make them further solid at the back But they continue to miss out on a few like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, who are integral to their chances. The midfield duo’s absence is likely to hamper Los Blancos’ creativity and Cadiz will certainly make things difficult by denying them spaces to work with.
Nevertheless, in Karim Benzema, Isco, Vinicius Jr., Marco Asensio and Rodrygo there is enough quality in this Real Madrid side to at least nick one goal on the night and pick up a win, which will take them level on points with Atletico Madrid and above them on the table on head-to-head record.