BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 23: Marcelo Vieira of Real Madrid CF (R) duels for the ball with Sergio Busquets of FC Barcelona during the Super Cup first leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 23, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
After a tumultuous midweek Clasico, Real Madrid head into their second league match looking for their first victory of the young campaign. Madrid will look to earn three points from their crosstown rivals Getafe on Sunday. The recent history of this fixture reflects los Blancos domination, as they've managed to win 7 straight matches against the Azulones in all competitions, including the last three in the Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Going back through last season, Real Madrid have won 15 of their last 16 away matches and they certainly will hope to maintain that form coming off a loss in the first leg of their Supercopa tie against Barcelona.
According to Opta, Luis's Garcia's squad have won only one of their last 10 Madrid derbies. Getafe lost 2-1 at Sevilla in last Saturday, extending their winless streak in the Primera to 7 matches overall. In what is perhaps last weekend's most eye-opening stat, Real Madrid generated 24 shots on goal against Valencia and Jose Mourinho's men will surely look to be far more clinical against Getafe.
As far as lineup changes go, I expect Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Marcelo (all super-subs on Thursday) to be selected and play significant minutes. Di Maria's pace and creativity will be crucial in applying pressure on Getafe's hastily reconfigured back-four. I will be interested to see if Kaka is on the team sheet, as rumblings of renewed interest from AC Milan have started to resurface. The endless Luka Modric saga will start to take on a little more urgency if Kaka is transferred, now that Nuri Sahin's move to Liverpool has been finalized, leaving Real Madrid somewhat thin in midfield with a crowded fixture list on the horizon. I'll be curious to see how Mourinho handles Mesut Ozil in this match and whether he opts to rest the German playmaker.
Goal.com is reporting that Pepe has resumed training and could feature against Getafe and even though his absence against Barca was painfully obvious--I hope Mourinho exercises caution with the rugged defender. I'd love to see Raphael Varane get some minutes in this situation but Mourinho mostly seems to prefer starting him in the friendly confines of the Bernabeu.
Ultimately, I forsee a clinical, aggressive approach from Real Madrid as they'll seek to overwhelm an overmatched Getafe. I don't think the draw against Valencia was cause for panic but securing the right result here will be vital as the champions will look to avoid spotting their Catalan rivals an early lead in the standings.
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