It’s derby time in Madrid as Real Madrid take on Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez for gameweek eight of La Liga. Madrid have fallen to second place in the league for the first time in months following their draw against Osasuna, and will be looking to regain it, even if temporarily, with a win tomorrow.
The squad list for the fixture has been released, with the biggest takeaway being the absence of Karim Benzema.
Reports had suggested that Carlo Ancelotti was considering resting the player for this game given his recent injury concern, coupled with the bizarrely hectic schedule in October.
The midfield and defence are stacked, though. Lucas Vazquez returns to the team after missing the Osasuna game. Luka Modric missed the last league outing as well, but is in contention to start against Getafe tomorrow.
Thibaut Courtois is another absentee in the squad after picking up an injury in training. The Belgian will likely miss the game against Shakhtar Donetsk as well before making his return against Barcelona next weekend.
Dani Ceballos is also missing from the travelling squad.
Ancelotti sets a target for Real Madrid to achieve before facing Barcelona in La Liga
Real Madrid are currently the frontrunners to win the La Liga title this season, having established a solid lead atop the table.
After 26 matchdays, Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos have built a six-point lead over second-placed Girona and are eight clear of arch-rivals Barcelona in third.
Ancelotti sets a target
While Real Madrid have already faced Girona and Atletico Madrid twice in La Liga already, they still have to face Barcelona for the second time.
And, as per AS, manager Carlo Ancelotti has set a target for his Real Madrid side to achieve before they face off against Xavi Hernandez’s Barça in a few weeks.
Los Blancos host their bitter rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu in the weekend of April 20-21, in matchweek 32.
And before that, Ancelotti wants Real Madrid to reach 80 points in La Liga, which he believes is the safety point for his team to go on to win the title.
As things stand, the Merengues are on 65 points from 26 games and have five matches to play in the league before they face Barcelona.
And for them to achieve Ancelotti’s intended target, they will have to win each of their matches between now and April 20, which will be anything but straightforward.
After all, Real Madrid are set to face Valencia at a hostile Mestalla this weekend before they take on a Celta Vigo side battling to avoid relegation next week.
Following that, they face a tricky Osasuna side away from home and Athletic Club at home while they will also take on Copa del Rey finalists RCD Mallorca.
Ancelotti wants the La Liga title race wrapped up by this point so that the team can face Barcelona without any pressure and instead keep their focus on the UEFA Champions League, provided they progress in the tournament.
It will be easier said than done, but if we have learned anything from Real Madrid this season, it is that they thrive in the face of adversities.