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Three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Getafe: Rotations, Mendy, La Liga defence



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

With just five league games to go this season, Getafe face a dangerous situation. Jose Bordalas’ side sit on 34 points in 33 games, winning just eight games and losing fifteen. They currently sit in 18th place and are in a tight five-way battle to avoid the final relegation spot.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, enter the game coming off a 1-1 draw to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and will look to keep their momentum going. After all, they were the side that created more chances in the UCL semifinal on Tuesday and need all the confidence they can garner for next week’s game.

An early Eder Militao goal gave Real Madrid a narrow 1-0 lead when the two teams met earlier this season. With the stakes far higher for Getafe at this point and with Real Madrid playing with a subsidiary team, it remains to be seen as to what script the game presents.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Getafe.

1. Rotations all the way

Despite all his modest claims of laying his focus on the upcoming clash against Getafe, one knows that Carlo Ancelotti’s focus is completely on the return leg against Manchester City scheduled for next week.

After all, there is not much left to fight on the domestic front for Los Blancos. However, they stand a reasonable chance of tasting glory in the European competition and it would only be right for the manager to prioritise the same.

The Italian tactician is thus expected to completely shuffle his cards for the weekend clash against Getafe. Changes are anticipated all over the field with the forward department especially expected to bear a different face.

Reports state that Eden Hazard could lead the charge for Real Madrid on Saturday as the left-winger in place of Vinicius Jr. Mariano Diaz is expected to start down the middle while Marco Asensio is best placed to occupy the third place in attack.

Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Eduardo Camavinga are all expected to have the day off on Saturday. The doors for Aurelien Tchouameni to prove his worth thus open, as the youngster is expected to start as the defensive midfielder.

The Frenchman will likely be accompanied by Federico Valverde and Dani Ceballos. The latter was supposed to miss the clash through injury, but Ancelotti confirmed that he would be available in his pre-match press conference.

The defence could feature Alvaro Odriozola as a right-back with Jesus Vallejo and Nacho Fernandez playing as the centre-backs on the night. The final pin in defence could be Ferland Mendy, who will also be available after a long time on the sidelines.

2. Bringing back order in the chaos

The left-back position has been Real Madrid’s Achilles heel this season. Carlo Ancelotti has been left without a natural player in the position far too long this term and it has become a commonality to see either Nacho Fernandez or Eduardo Camavinga in the position.

In the process, both players have improved their trade in the full-back business. Camavinga, in particular, has caught eyes across the globe for his versatility and even delivered a masterclass at left-back in Real Madrid’s recent clash against Manchester City.

Camavinga has filled in at LB very well. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

Saturday marks the return of Ferland Mendy, and with it, the return of structural normalcy to Ancelotti’s system.

With the Frenchman back to cover in his natural defensive role, the manager will have Camavinga’s services in midfield. The youngster’s availability in the middle of the park completely changes the complexion of the Merengues‘ setup and makes them a more formidable unit as a whole.

3. Last day as La Liga holders?

The 2022-23 season has not been unkind to Real Madrid at all. Despite the unsteady start and the mid-season hiccup, Los Blancos have made up for their shortcomings in almost all competitions.

They overcame a first-leg deficit against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semifinal and went on to win the competition. Further, they are well-placed to win the UEFA Champions League and are just 180 quality minutes away from glory.

Yet, the men in white came up short in La Liga this season and did so by some margin. They currently sit third on the league table, one point behind Atletico Madrid and a whopping 14 points behind Barcelona.

The Catalans can mathematically seal the title with a win over Espanyol on Sunday night, and in the process, lift the league trophy. Thus, tomorrow’s game is, in theory, Real Madrid’s final meaningful clash in La Liga.

Ancelotti’s men have suffered some heavy defeats in the domestic competition this season and have no one to blame but themselves for their miserable situation.

Yet, as La Liga comes to a close, it will come as a massive relief to Ancelotti, who can completely focus on the remaining competition with undivided attention.

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Three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Real Valladolid was far from convincing. They may have been the more effective side, but the Merengues were far from being the better team against Andoni Iraola’s men.

Saturday brings with it the team’s penultimate game of the campaign as Real Madrid take on Sevilla. The Andalusian side have not been impressive in La Liga this season but have always been one to turn up against the big teams. Tomorrow’s game is expected to be no different.

Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make drastic changes ahead of kickoff, especially given the incomplete squad travelling for the game. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid.

1. Final game on the road

The 2022-23 season has flown by in the blink of an eye. It may have been a rocky campaign and could have ended with better results, but there is a feeling that the squad has a lot to take away from the season as it is.

From the highs of completing a special Copa del Rey comeback win over Barcelona to the lows of losing three successive Clasicos, the men in white have seen it all. As the season now approaches the curtain-closing phase, Carlo Ancelotti and his men will be eager for a strong finish.

Sunday night will see the Merengues‘ final away game of the season as they travel to Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan to take on Sevilla. The 2021-22 champions have not had the best of seasons on the road in La Liga this season and a statement finish would go a long way in boosting the morale.

Sevilla have been far from their best this campaign domestically. Though they are well placed to taste glory in the UEFA Europa League once again, they languish in tenth place on the league standings with just 13 wins in 36 games.

Los Blancos boast a fine record at Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and are unbeaten at the stadium in their last eight appearances. Their last defeat at the venue came back in 2018, and the objective tonight will be to extend the aforementioned streak.

2. Tchouameni’s point to prove

Point to prove. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

As much as Aurelien Tchouameni’s initial months at the club were called paradise, the Frenchman has not had life easy at Real Madrid in his first season.

The Frenchman initially stepped in as a more than able replacement for Casemiro in the middle of the park. His astute reading of the game and defensive awareness made him a monster in midfield and his position in the starting lineup appeared safe.

Tchouameni’s situation, however, took a steep turn after the FIFA World Cup. Coming back from a fatiguing World Cup and a minor niggle, the defensive midfielder no longer found his name on the starting lineup as he became second fiddle to Eduardo Camavinga.

The entry of Toni Kroos as an option for the pivot role further reduced the Frenchman’s involvement.

The youngster thus has a point to prove on Sunday night. He is expected to start at the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and will look to orchestrate the team’s play from deep in midfield whilst holding the fortress simultaneously. After all, it could be his final chance to prove his worth ahead of the new season.

3. Only three forwards

Real Madrid’s squad list only names three forwards making the trip to Seville to take on Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side – Rodrygo Goes, Eden Hazard, and Alvaro Rodriguez.

The manager does have a fourth option in Federico Valverde and could look to mix and match his options on the night. However, Carlo Ancelotti maintained a low profile on the starting lineup ahead of Sunday’s clash, especially when asked about Eden Hazard’s chances of participating.

Given that it is the team’s penultimate game of the season, Ancelotti could well look to start all three pure forwards on the night. After all, each has their own special reason to participate.

For Hazard, the game against Sevilla could well be his final away game in a Real Madrid shirt. The Belgian is reluctant to leave the club at the moment, but everything could change in June if he begins to attract interest.

In Alvaro Rodriguez’s case, tomorrow’s game presents itself as an audition to seal a place in next season’s dynamics. The youngster has impressed whenever given the chance so far and will look to keep his high level going.

Rodrygo Goes, arguably, needs the game the least of the three candidates. Yet, with Ancelotti publicly asking him to take more prominence, he has a point to prove.

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