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

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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 takeaways from Real Madrid 3-2 Barcelona | La Liga

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Jude Bellingham stunned the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys when Real Madrid met Barcelona last year in La Liga with a stunning brace including a stoppage-time winner.

Last night, once again, he came up clutch to give his side all three points against the same opposition in stoppage time.

The 90 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu were far from easy for Real Madrid, especially with Barcelona dominating parts of the game and creating good chances in the final third.

However, the dressing room was clear about their objective from the get-go, and nothing, it appeared, could make them take their eyes off the target. After a valiant 90-minute battle, the scoreboard read 3-2 in Real Madrid’s favour.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from Real Madrid’s emphatic El Clasico win.

Two gems shine bright

Coming off a difficult 120-minute shift against Manchester City midweek, it was always going to take a herculean effort from the Real Madrid dressing room to find a way past Barcelona.

After all, the team were far from their best from a physical standpoint, and Carlo Ancelotti’s rotations on the night reiterated the same.

While the eventual 3-2 win was possible only courtesy of a comprehensive team effort with contributions from all over the field, two players impressed in particular – Jude Bellingham and Lucas Vazquez.

The right-back was Real Madrid’s best player on the night, constantly creating pressure and threats in the Barcelona area. Playing down the right flank, he dominated Barcelona star Joao Cancelo and made the wing his own.

Vazquez won Real Madrid the penalty that helped them get back into the game after an early setback and did so with fine trickery on the edge of the area. Eventually, Barcelona’s young Pau Cubarsi was forced to make contact and bring the dynamic full-back down.

When Real Madrid went down a goal once more, Vazquez timed his run into the box with perfection to get onto the end of Vinicius Jr’s cross and slam it in the first time.

If his goal and assist were not enough to cap off a special display, it was Vazquez’s pass in the dying minutes of the game that created the opening for the team’s winning goal.

Bellingham, meanwhile, significantly stepped up from his recent lean patch and effectively dictated Real Madrid’s play in the final third. In addition to scoring the game-changing winner, he completed two key passes, 100% of his dribbles and four accurate long balls on the night.

A team with elite mentality

Elite mentality. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Only Real Madrid can pull off the comebacks they have in the last week, especially given the special circumstances surrounding each game.

The clash against Pep Guardiola’s side midweek was the most gruelling 120 minutes of football Los Blancos have played all year. Despite being dominated for the most part, they came out clutch and defended valiantly to pull through on penalties.

Last night, still sore from their overtime duty on Wednesday, Real Madrid faced a stiff challenge against a relatively fresh Barcelona. The game, once again, showed why they boast of a mentality as elite as it gets.

Los Blancos went behind twice on the night, yet pulled back the deficit on both occasions to level the scores. A draw was a good enough result for Ancelotti’s men as it would give them a good lead ahead of the final six games in La Liga.

Having played the 90 minutes against Barcelona, the men in white could well have defended deep and settled for a draw. That, after all, would be the natural reaction of any weary party.

Yet, they pushed high and hard for a winner. With a draw in hand and the title in their grasp, they still gunned on for a win and were rewarded with Jude Bellingham’s clutch goal.

Is there a more mentally resilient team in the world? Probably not.

League in the bag

Having secured the critical win over Barcelona, the full-time whistle last night saw celebrations like none other.

Emotions poured out on the Real Madrid bench with players clenching their fists and pumping them into the air. The stadium chanted the chorus in unison, for they too knew what the result meant.

Three points secured against the second-placed team now take Real Madrid a staggering 11 points clear of Barcelona on the standings. Only six games remain to be played in La Liga, and the Merengues would have to lose four of them to let go of the title now.

Thus, for all practical purposes, Real Madrid are the champions of Spain. It may take a few more weeks for the accolade to be mathematically and officially theirs, but one can rely on the group to ensure that there are no slip-ups between now and the day the title is theirs.

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