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Three talking points ahead of Getafe vs Real Madrid

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After two home games on the trot, Real Madrid travel to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to take on Getafe on Saturday night.

Quique Flores’ side have had a mixed start to the season and currently sit in 14th place. Their season began poorly as they failed to win any of their first four games. Getafe then won back-to-back games against Real Sociedad and Osasuna before losing to Real Valladolid on the last matchday.

Flores’ men took down Real Madrid by a 1-0 margin when the two sides faced off last year at the same venue courtesy of an Enes Unal goal. Needless to say, they will have a psychological edge and will hope to convert it into three points tomorrow.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Real Madrid’s return to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

1. Brazilian brilliance

What makes Real Madrid special is their ability to gather resources even under the more dire circumstances. When there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, the team has historically always found a source of illumination.

Last season, Karim Benzema rewrote records for fun. The French striker could not stop scoring goals, be it in a La Liga game bearing no importance or a knockout game in the UEFA Champions League.

However, the start to the new season has been rough for the Ballon d’Or favourite. Pundits expected Los Blancos to struggle in the absence of a direct replacement for Benzema, but two young prodigies stepped up and illumined the dark tunnel.

In the past few weeks, Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo have seen their stocks rise exponentially. While the former was already a key element of Real Madrid’s attack last season, his compatriot has stolen the spotlight equally in recent games.

In the last four games, the forwards recorded three goals and two assists for the team between them. In Real Madrid’s most recent outing against Shakhtar Donetsk, both players got onto the scoresheet and helped the side march to a 2-1 win.

Carlo Ancelotti will hope that Benzema can return to his best at the earliest and spearhead the attack with the two prodigies. Until then, the spotlight will shine bright on Vinicius and Rodrygo.

2. Federico Valverde: master of all trades

Federico Valverde’s talent was never a topic up for debate. The Uruguayan has always been a hard worker for Carlo Ancelotti’s team and made sure to leave a mark whenever he stepped onto the grass.

However, one expected that the arrivals of Aurelien Tcouameni and Eduardo Camavinga would have a direct impact on his continuity at the club. The new signings were thought to be of a higher pedigree, technically, and one expected Valverde to be pushed to the bench.

However, what the 24-year-old has accomplished so far this season is nothing short of astounding. In seven La Liga appearances, he has scored three goals and provided one assist. In Europe, he has one goal and an assist to his name in just three appearances.

He was La Liga’s Player of the Month for September, which only barely begins to explain his tremendous start to the season.

Federico masterclass (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Even when not involved directly in the goals, his influence on the field has been unparalleled. In Los Blancos’ recent win over Shakhtar midweek, the midfielder was one of the best players on the field with a whopping seven key passes and three shots on target.

In Valverde, Ancelotti has the unique profile of a midfielder who offers dynamicity in the final third. His tenacious nature makes him a force to reckon with off the ball, and one does not need to elaborate much on his capabilities in possession.

He will look to boss the right side of midfield again against Getafe when he will go face to face against ex-Barcelona man Carles Alena and the young Juan Iglesias.

3. A tightrope to tread

Seven games into the new La Liga season, Real Madrid boast 19 of a possible 21 points. Their only draw of the season came on the last matchday against Osasuna when Karim Benzema missed a late penalty.

Despite enjoying an almost perfect run domestically, the men in white can only boast of being second to their arch-rivals Barcelona. The Catalans sit at the pinnacle of the table with equal points but a far better goal difference.

The situation on the standings points to a hard-fought and tight title race that will go down to the wire. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are in their element and look set for record-breaking seasons. It will be a race of who will slip up first from here on, and Los Blancos will not want to be the party to concede.

A win over Getafe will put pressure on Barcelona who play their eighth league game only on Sunday night. The Blaugranas are coming off a defeat to Inter and have a must-win game against the same opposition in less than a week. With Xavi’s side being under pressure, this could be Real Madrid’s chance to steal the lead again.

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Features

Five players who will be fixed starters for Real Madrid next season

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Following a successful campaign, Real Madrid are poised for significant changes in their roster due to a combination of player arrivals and departures.

The responsibility of blending new faces with established stars will fall to coach Carlo Ancelotti and his staff as they aim to maintain the club’s competitive edge domestically and in Europe.

And to predict the team’s probable strategy and performance amidst these changes, it is imperative to identify the key players who will be constant starters.

Kylian Mbappe

The new talisman. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

With Real Madrid no longer viewing Mbappe through rose-tinted lenses and finally being able to dress him in the royal white jersey, the Frenchman is expected to be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Owing to his instinctive nature to find the back of the net, he is poised to be paired alongside Vinicius Jr. in attack.

Last season, the 2018 World Cup winner scored a whopping 44 goals in all competitions. Thus Real Madrid will be banking heavily on Mbappe’s ability to ask questions of opposition defenders in the final third.

It is being said that Mbappe is all set to wear the iconic number 9 jersey at Real Madrid, which is indicative of the role he will play, as a focal striker.

Vinicius Jr.

The main man at Real Madrid. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Brazilian is in pole position to win the Ballon d’Or this year, and looking back on his season with Real Madrid, it is easy to see why.

Despite losing Karim Benzema, his usual partner in crime over the past few years, Vinicius performed remarkably well in Ancelotti’s new system.

Relentlessly taking on defenders, arriving into space, scoring goals, and stepping up in the biggest of moments, he was one of Real Madrid’s major lynchpins throughout the season as they lifted a historic double.

Vinicius impressively racked up 24 goals last season, and given his importance to the team, the likelihood of him not maintaining a starting role next season is nearly nonexistent.

Jude Bellingham

Real Madrid Fans’ Player of the Season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Defying all expectations in his debut season, Jude Bellingham established himself as a key player for Real Madrid, demonstrating exceptional versatility, and maturity far beyond his years.

Although the Englishman’s performances wavered in the final stretch of the season, Bellingham’s contributions ensured Los Blancos were able to compete in the Champions League and especially La Liga.

In addition to scoring 23 goals in all competitions, he has constantly been a beacon of reliability in midfield and has proven to be the voice of reason on the pitch.

There have been murmurs about Bellingham potentially being berthed deeper next season as Real Madrid intends to use him as Kroos’ replacement. However, given his versatility, he is expected to be a crucial player wherever he plays.

Antonio Rudiger

A mainstay at the back. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Rudiger is one of the major reasons Real Madrid managed to successfully disguise their injury crisis. Despite players falling like dominos in the back-line, the German stood resolutely as a dependable figure for most of the campaign, arguably enjoying one of his best seasons.

Expertly anticipating opposition strikers’ movements, he leaps forward to thwart attacks before they begin. Moreover, thanks to his large stature and incredible recovery pace, he is able to cover distances behind.

Reports have mentioned that Carlo Ancelotti views him as a crucial component of the squad and potential arrivals, such as those of Leny Yoro and Rafa Marin, in the back-line are unlikely to devalue his presence.

Thibaut Courtois

Back like he was never gone. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

In spite of spending more than half of the campaign on the sidelines recovering from an ACL and MCL injury, Courtois is worth his weight in gold for Real Madrid.

He performed admirably in the final few games of the season and did no wrong against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final.

While Andriy Lunin made up for his absence with flying colours, he is placed below Courtois in the pecking order for now, which also has made the Ukrainian lean towards an exit.

The fact that Lunin, after his sublime season, stands no chance of dethroning Courtois between the sticks is a testament to how much the club appreciates the Belgian. Even at the age of 32, the Belgian keeper is anticipated to retain an important role in the team.

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