Alaves vs Real Madrid – LaLiga No room for slip-ups at Mendizorroza
It hasn’t been a good start to 2021 for the city of Madrid. The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the Spanish capital hard and, as the city coped with the effects of Storm Filomena, a recent explosion in a building in the city centre have made recent weeks trying for the Madrid public.
In a time where football is a much-needed escape for many, the fortunes of one of the city’s teams have taken a turn for the worse as well. Real Madrid have fallen in to somewhat of a crisis since the turn of the new year and are in desperate need of a victory this weekend against Alaves.
Just three days after a humiliating defeat to Segunda B side Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey, Real Madrid travel to Mendizorroza to play Alaves on league duty and without head coach Zinedine Zidane after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. They are without their two main leaders in Zidane and Sergio Ramos, who is missing with a knee injury.
They have crashed out of two cup competitions in less than a week and are sitting seven points adrift of Atletico Madrid in LaLiga, while their city rivals also have a game in hand.
Zidane‘s side also find themselves without Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Fede Valverde and Rodrygo. Martin Odegaard also won’t travel with the side either, as he looks to be leaving the club on loan in this transfer window.
Assistant coach David Bettoni took Friday’s press conference ahead of the match and spoke of the possible inclusion of Victor Chust and Antonio Blanco. Chust has a chance of being involved due to Eder Militao‘s inconsistency and Blanco could slot in to the midfield.
Going forward we expect to see a front three of Marcos Asesnsio, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard. The Belgian’s poor performances this season have been another negative point for his side and there are doubts that he can replicate the form he showed at Chelsea.
Real Madrid need to get back to winnings ways not just to keep themselves in touch in the title race, but to prepare themselves for their most realistic chance of silverware this season – the Champions League. A tough test awaits them against Atalanta in the knockout stages and they’ll be looking to be back to their best as soon as possible.