Real Madrid will be looking to continue their excellent start under new manager Zinedine Zidane when they welcome relegation threatened Sporting Gijon to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Real Madrid head into Sunday’s encounter on the back of a 5-0 hammering of Deportivo La Coruna in Zidane’s first match as the manager of the Capital club last weekend. Currently lying in 3rd position in the La Liga league table behind Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona, Los Blancos will be looking to close the gap at the top by registering an emphatic victory over struggling Gijon at the Bernabeu.
Third from bottom Sporting Gijon have had a miserable start to the 2015-16 La Liga campaign and currently lie just 1 point ahead of bottom club Levante. They face a monumental task of getting anything out of the match against a re-energized Real Madrid outfit under new manager and former club legend Zinedine Zidane.
The home side have no fresh injury concerns ahead of their clash on Sunday. Zidane’s decision to start James Rodriguez in central midfield ahead of Isco will alert potential suitors for the latter in the English Premier League. In a major blow to Sporting Gijon, defender Bernardo Espinosa injured his knee last weekend against Villarreal and is set to face an extended spell on the sidelines.
Probable starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos; Ronaldo, Rodriguez, Bale; Benzema.
Probable starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Cuellar; Lora, Hernandez, Mere, Lopez; Cases, Rachid; Halilovic, Ndi, Jony; Sanabria.
- Real Madrid have lost just one of their last 13 league games against Sporting (W10 D2), but it came at home (0-2 in April 2011).
- Sporting have scored just one goal in their last four league visits to the Santiago Bernabeu.
- Zinedine Zidane’s side have fired the most shots on target in La Liga this season (152) while Sporting have had the second fewest (62), just behind Espanyol (57).
- Cristiano Ronaldo (four), Gareth Bale (eight) and Karim Benzema (six) have scored 18 out Real Madrid’s last 19 league goals (Lucas Vazquez scoring the other against Real Sociedad)..
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Sporting Gijon
Real Madrid began their post-Benitez era in spectacular style last week as they beat Deportivo La Coruna by five goals to nil last weekend. Real Madrid have struggled to beat tougher oppositions this season but have a good record against weaker teams in the league. A struggling Gijon side should pose no threat whatsoever for a resurgent Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Betting Odds (Ladbrokes)
Real Madrid CF – 1/20
Draw – 16/1
Athletic Bilbao – 25/1