Although they had a complicated start, it seems that Real Sociedad are fully recovered and, after having linked five consecutive games without a loss, they visit Santiago Bernabéu to face Real Madrid, today at 16:00 CET. Los Blancos, who are truggling with some defensive issues and learned today about Marcelo's injury, need a victory to put some pressure on Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona and keep up the fight for the first place.
With seven goals conceded in the last three games, and having Marcelo, Coentrao and Sergio Ramos out, Carlo Ancelotti will need to rebuild his defensive line for tomorrow's match to pursue the balance he is always speaking about. Varane and Pepe will play, for sure, as central defenders, but the situation in the wings is more complicated: two men will be chosen between Arbeloa, Nacho and Carvajal for these positions.
On the other hand, all the midfielders and attackers are available, so this may be a good opportunity to try to give some minutes to Isco or Morata, who haven't had a chance in the last few games. Khedira's disconfort on the knee may also favor the entrance of Casemiro, who was clearly the pre-season's surprise and has not played a single minute since September 1st, against Athletic de Bilbao. In any case, the tactical knowledge of Xabi Alonso seems essential to help his partners to keep their positions and stick together against the positional attack of the first elite team he played in. Illarramendi, who shares origins with Alonso, will presumably start from the bench against his former team.
The attack should not be a problem: Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are in their best condition. Twelve goals in three games have dissipated all the doubts on their performance and they are, right now, the best among Real Madrid's assets to try to reduce the six-point disadvantage against Barcelona.
In the last match against the break for the international games, the three points seem an obligation for the merengues. Likewise, after their last week's 5-0 win against Osasuna, Real Sociedad will try to maintain their good spell of good results and get some profit from the visit to Bernabeu. Anyway, both teams' trend may suggest that we will enjoy a game with plenty of goals. Let us just hope Madrid will score, at least, one more than the Basques.