Real Madrid will be aiming to strengthen their grip on the top spot of the La Liga standings when they play hosts to Getafe this weekend.

Real Madrid will be looking to stretch their lead atop the La Liga table to 15 points when they welcome local rivals Getafe to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are seated comfortably at the perch of the La Liga table, with a 12-point lead over Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, all of whom are tied on 57 points. Following their 4-0 El Clasico defeat, Real Madrid have bounced back strongly, first beating Celta Vigo 2-1. The Merengues then beat Chelsea 3-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Getafe find themselves in the bottom half of the standings as they occupy the 14th place, six points clear of the relegation zone. Following their 1-0 win over Mallorca last time out, the Madrilenian outfit are unbeaten in their previous three games and have lost just once in the last six. And Quique Sanchez Flores will be hoping that his team can put up a fight at the Bernabeu.

Getafe have already beaten Real Madrid once this season, securing a 1-0 victory in January earlier this year courtesy of a goal from Enes Unal. Ahead of their latest meeting on Saturday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Real Madrid

Real Madrid will once again be without the services of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic. In addition, Ferland Mendy did not train on the eve of the game due to fatigue and will likely sit this one out.

Carlo Ancelotti could decide to make one or two tweaks to the team that saw off the challenge from Chelsea earlier in the week. However, no alternation is expected in goal, with Thibaut Courtois the undisputed starter. Dani Carvajal could make way for Lucas Vazquez at right-back, while Nacho could come in for Mendy on the left. Eder Militao and David Alaba will continue as the two centre-backs.

In midfield, Eduardo Camavinga could get a run out in place of Luka Modric, who ran himself into the ground in midweek. Federico Valverde, who started on the right flank against Chelsea, could move to his natural habitat in the centre of the park, with Toni Kroos also likely to be given a breather. However, Casemiro should hold on to his spot in the side.

As far as the attacking unit goes, there could be one change. With Valverde moving into midfield, Marco Asensio should come into the lineup on the right flank. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior will occupy their respective slots in the Real Madrid frontline.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Nacho; Valverde, Casemiro, Camavinga; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius

Getafe

Jakub Jankto and Mauro Arambarri are ruled out of the tie as they serve out their respective suspensions. In addition, Getafe will also be without Jaime Mata, while Jonathan Silva is also a doubt for the game.

Quique Sanchez Flores will set his team up in a 3-5-2 formation in front of goalkeeper David Soria. He will be shielded by a three-man defensive unit comprising Stefan Mitrovic, Djene Dakonam and Erick Cabaco, who will look to keep the lively Real Madrid frontline quiet. Damian Suarez and Mathias Olivera ought to be the two wing-backs, although they will drop deep to form a five-man backline regularly.

With Arambarri ruled out due to suspension, Gonzalo Villar is likely to step into the middle of the park and partner Nemanja Maksimovic to help provide added security to the defence. Former Barcelona starlet Carles Alena should take up the third slot in the centre of the park and look to add the creative essence.

Enes Unal, who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture, will line up with ex-Barcelona ace Sandro Ramirez in attack for Getafe as they look to pick up at least a point from the Bernabeu.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Soria; Mitrovic, Dakonam, Cabaco; Suarez, Maksimovic, Villar, Alena, Olivera; Unal, Ramirez

Key Stats

  • Real Madrid are winless in their last two La Liga games against Getafe (D1 L1), failing to score in both.
  • Real Madrid have won their last 12 La Liga home games against Getafe.
  • After winning the reverse fixture 1-0, Getafe are looking to become the first team to win both of their games in the same campaign against Real Madrid in La Liga since Barcelona and Real Sociedad in 2018/19.
  • Real Madrid suffered their first home defeat in La Liga this season in their last such game against Barcelona.
  • Getafe are winless in their last 18 away games in La Liga (D8 L10), failing to score in 12 of them.

Player to Watch

Karim Benzema

Who else but Real Madrid’s all-conquering talisman, who once again stole the show in midweek by scoring a brilliant hat-trick against Chelsea. Karim Benzema has now amassed a tally of 37 goals and 13 assists from just 36 matches across all competitions this season, playing a vital role in Los Blancos’ title charge and push for European glory.

However, the 34-year-old has had a dry run against Getafe in recent seasons. Having been involved in nine goals in six games against the Azulones in La Liga between February 2014 and March 2018, Benzema has been involved in just one goal in his last seven matches versus the Madrilenian outfit – something that he will be aiming to address this weekend.

Prediction

Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe

Getafe have made decent progress under Quique Sanchez Flores, who is slowly pulling them away from the threat of relegation. The Azulones have lost just one of their last six La Liga matches. But a game against a team of Real Madrid’s stature will be a different challenge altogether. 

Los Blancos lost their previous home game in the league and will be itching to bounce back with a strong performance at the Bernabeu. With Karim Benzema firing on all cylinders and the rest of the team doing their job, anything other than a Real Madrid victory will be a major shock on Saturday night.

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