Real Madrid will host Girona in La Liga on Sunday evening, looking to continue their exceptional start to the season with a victory at home.
Real Madrid have picked up ten wins and a draw from 11 La Liga matches so far. And they are three points clear at the top of the table. This is a golden opportunity for them to increase their advantage over second-placed Barcelona with a win at home, especially with the Blaugrana taking on Valencia on Saturday.
Los Blancos will be the firm favourites heading into the contest, and the fans will be expecting a comprehensive victory.
Meanwhile, Girona are 18th in the league table and will be massive underdogs heading into this game. The visitors are currently battling relegation, and beating Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu would require a massive slice of luck. It will be interesting to see if the away side can make life difficult for the hosts and grind out a morale-boosting result here.
Real Madrid into this game on the back of a defeat to RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League, and they will be determined to get back to winning ways. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.
Team News and Tactics
📋✅ Our squad for #RealMadridGirona! pic.twitter.com/p2d52rIL1v
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 29, 2022
Real Madrid will be without the services of midfielder Dani Ceballos, who is sidelined with a thigh injury, and Karim Benzema. Apart from that, Carlo Ancelotti will have a fully fit squad to choose from against Girona. Los Blancos should line up in their preferred 4-3-3 formation with Thibaut Courtois in goal.
Experienced right-back Dani Carvajal is expected to return to the starting eleven after featuring on the bench against RB Leipzig. Eder Militao will partner David Alaba at the heart of the defence, and both players will look to improve on their performance from midweek. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy is expected to return as the left-back.
Carvajal and Mendy will provide an attacking outlet in the wide areas and cause problems for the Girona defence on the overlap.
With all the key players fit for the game, the midfield pretty much picks itself. Luka Modric will likely partner with Aurelien Tchouameni and Toni Kroos at the heart of the midfield. While Modric and Kroos will look to add creativity and composure in the middle of the park, Tchouameni will look to break up the play and shield the back four.
In the attack, Vinicius Junior is set to start as a left-sided winger, and Federico Valverde will be deployed on the right-hand here. Rodrygo Goes is set to lead the line in Benzema’s absence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Rodygo, Vinicius
Borja Garcia and Ibrahima Kebe will both be out for Girona with knee injuries. The away side will likely line up in a 4-4-2 formation with Paulo Gazzaniga in goal. Yan Couto is expected to start as the right-back, with Javi Hernandez slotting in as the left-back.
Bernardo Espinosa will partner Santiago Bueno at the heart of the Girona defence, and the duo will have to be on top of their game to stop Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes.
Yangel Herrera and Rodrigo Riquelme will start as the wingers, and they will look to cover the full-backs and provide an outlet during counter-attacks.
In the middle of the park, Oriol Romeu is set to partner Alex Garcia. Itt will be interesting to see whether they can wrestle control of the ball from Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Finally, Valentin Castellanos and Manu Vallejo will lead the attack for Girona.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Gazzaniga; Couto, Espinosa, Bueno, Hernandez; Herrera, Garcia, Romeu, Riquelme; Castellanos, Vallejo
- Real Madrid have won ten of their last 11 La Liga matches.
- Real Madrid have been winning at both half-time and full-time in their last four matches in La Liga.
- Real Madrid have scored at least two goals in nine of their last 11 matches in La Liga.
- Girona have lost their last three away matches in La Liga.
- Girona have scored at least two goals in their last three away matches against Real Madrid in all competitions.
- Girona have conceded at least two goals in their last three away matches in La Liga.
Player to Watch
The Brazilian international is one of the best players in the world, and he is our player to watch this weekend. Vinicius will be desperate to get his name on the scoresheet here after scoring earlier this week, and Girona have a vulnerable defence. Vinicius should be able to punish them with his quality in and around the box.
Real Madrid 3-0 Girona
Real Madrid are far superior in terms of personnel and quality. Furthermore, they have momentum with them as well. On the other hand, Girona have been quite poor this season, conceding 19 goals in 11 La Liga games. They are likely to struggle against world-class attackers like Vinicius and Rodrygo here.
On top of that, the last time these two sides met back in 2019, Girona picked up a win against Real Madrid away from home, and Los Blancos will be itching to avenge that defeat here. This should be a comfortable home victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s side. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-0 victory for Real Madrid.
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