After Real Madrid’s 4-2 La Liga (LL) loss to Girona on Tuesday, manager Carlo Ancelotti remarked, “It’s never good to lose, but maybe this loss can be a wake up call.” Even though Barcelona leads by 11 points, effectively ending their title defense, it was still a poor choice to put on such a subpar performance as the Copa del Rey final and UEFA Champions League semifinal drew nearer.
They need to get stronger before playing Almera since Atlético, a rival team from their city, is now vying with them for second place in the standings. Returning to the Bernabéu should benefit Los Blancos, who have only lost one of their last 19 home league games (W13, D5) and have won all six prior home head to head matches. Their advantage currently stands at just two points.
Almeria has moved out of the bottom three after defeating Getafe 2-1 on Wednesday. They also appear to be finding spurts of good play at the ideal time (W2, D2, L2). They are normally an excellent club to monitor if you’re chasing goals because that was their seventh straight match in which both sides scored (W2, D2, L3) and their fourth straight match to end 2-1 (W2, L2).
The chances of another raid in Madrid seem remote given that they hadn’t won a league match away from home since February 2015 (D4, L17). However, the fact that they have scored in each of their last five league away games (W1, D1, L3) does suggest another shock can’t be completely ruled out, especially if Madrid’s attention is shifting away from the challenges currently in front of them and toward those that will come.
Lucas Vázquez, a defender for Madrid, doesn’t score much, although he did so after the 60th minute last week and against Almera in August. With two goals against Getafe on Tuesday, Luis Suárez was Almera’s hero. He has now scored three of his four La Liga goals this season before the 30-minute mark.
Ferland Mendy and David Alaba will both be out of commission for Real Madrid again on Saturday, and Luka Modric will likely miss the Copa del Rey final due to a hamstring issue.
Due to illness, Thibaut Courtois was out against Girona, but the Belgian international is back in the lineup for this weekend’s game.
Both Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard missed the team’s most recent game due to minor ailments, but they are still in the squad and will need to be evaluated before a final decision is made over their participation.
For this game, head coach Ancelotti is anticipated to alter his starting lineup, with Eduardo Camavinga, Lucas Vazquez, and Aurelien Tchouameni possibly getting the nod, while Thibaut Courtois will make his comeback in goal after recovering from his illness.
Diego Fuoli and El Bilal Toure will both be out of action for Almeria on Saturday due to injury, while Rodrigo Ely is available after serving a one match suspension against Getafe.
For the match at Bernabeu, Alejandro Pozo is likely to move to the bench as Ely is expected to start in the middle of the defense, moving Chumi to the right back position.
Suarez is anticipated to be joined in the final third of the field by Adri Embarba and Leo Baptistao. The visitors could otherwise remain unchanged from the lineup that began the triumph at Getafe.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup
Courtois, Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Camavinga, Valverde, Tchouameni, Ceballos, Asensio, Rodrygo and Vinicius.
Almeria possible starting lineup
Martinez, Chumi, Ely, Babic, Centelles, Melero, De la Hoz, Robertone, Baptistao, Suarez and Embarba.
We predict: Real Madrid 3-1 Almeria
Despite their recent triumph, Almeria has had trouble traveling this season, and they will be facing a Real Madrid team that is trying to recover from a setback. Despite missing some important players once more, we anticipate the hosts to win their 21st league game of the season on Saturday.