When Real Madrid hosts relegation threatened Getafe at Bernabeu on Saturday night, they will be looking to get back to winning in Spain’s top division.
With five games remaining, Los Blancos are presently third in the standings, 14 points behind leaders Barcelona, and Getafe is in 18th place, tied on points with Valencia in 17th place.
Real Madrid was defeated to a 1-1 draw at home by Manchester City in their UEFA Champions League semifinal during the previous week after defeating Osasuna 2-1 to win the Copa del Rey, their third trophy of the year. There won’t be any rest when they play Getafe, a Madrid based team that has only defeated them once over the past 18 head to head meetings (W15, D2), as they attempt to retake second place in La Liga (LL) from city rivals Atlético.
In order to maintain Los Blancos’ unbeaten streak of 20 LL home games (W14, D5) and keep them as fresh as possible going into the second leg against Man City, manager Carlo Ancelotti may choose to shuffle his team. Given that there aren’t many injuries to worry about and only Dani Carvajal is suspended, Ancelotti claims that his team is in terrific physical shape.
That might be terrible news for Getafe, who is fighting for survival after a dismal April (D2, L4). Getafe rose to 18th place following a crucial 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo. Despite being level on points with Valencia, who is directly above them, everything may depend on their last day visit to Valladolid, who they presently trail by one point and two positions.
Prior to it, they will play their third and final LL away game of the season without a road victory since October (D3, L7) and without a goal in three of the previous four (D1, L3). Getafe has also lost the previous four head to head matches it has played since February 2008 (L13), including three matches with a score of 2-0.
The Real Madrid standout Marco Asensio may play in this match; he has been Madrid’s lucky charm this season as they have won all eight of his LL goal scoring appearances. Borja Mayoral, a former Madrid player, has scored in two of Getafe’s previous three games, but they have lost both times.
Ferland Mendy has returned to Real Madrid’s lineup after recovering from a calf injury, although Dani Carvajal is suspended due to the red card he received against Real Sociedad in the league’s previous match.
There is a good probability that Ancelotti will make 10 changes from the lineup that took the field for the opening whistle against Man City the last time out even if Los Blancos are now chasing Atletico for second place.
The likes of Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Ceballos, Sergio Arribas, Mariano Diaz, Eden Hazard, and Marco Asensio could be given opportunities to shine from the start as the Italian will want to keep his key players fresh for what is sure to be a difficult encounter in Manchester.
Getafe will be without Mauro Arambarri and Gonzalo Villar due to injuries, while the visitors will be missing two important players due to suspension.
Unal and Damian Suarez won’t be able to play in this match since they both received milestone yellow cards in the 1-0 victory over Celta last time out.
Arambarri’s absence caused by the injury he sustained against Celta should allow Angel Algobia to start, and Unal might be replaced at center forward by Borja Mayoral.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup
Courtois, Vazquez, Vallejo, Nacho, Odriozola, Arribas, Tchouameni, Ceballos, Asensio, Mariano and Hazard.
Getafe possible starting lineup
Soria, Angileri, Dakonam, Mitrovic, Alvarez, Iglesias, Maksimovic, Algobia, Alena, Mayoral and Mata.
We predict: Real Madrid 2-1 Getafe
A fully functional Real Madrid would normally be the clear favorite in this match, but there are anticipated to be significant changes, which offers Getafe a better chance to come out on top. Although it wouldn’t be surprising if the points were split, Los Blancos should ultimately possess enough talent to earn all three.