Real Madrid have had better weeks. Since the battering they took at the Calderón which literally added insult to injury, there's been no lack of discerning news coming from inside and outside the club.
The Bernabéu's renovation had a pin stuck in it. Modrić seems he'll be ready to go later rather than sooner. Oh, and the transfer rumors! Rumors have been flying through the airwaves not unlike Arda Turan's boots. Everyone from Sami Khedira to Harry Kane to Marco Reus to Paul Pogba to Álvaro Morata to even Cristiano Ronaldo's names have been mentioned in the press this week.
But it'll all go away for at least 90 minutes Saturday when Real welcome Deportivo La Coruña, who seem to always catch Real Madrid at the worst possible times. Real Madrid have allowed four goals twice this season. In September, Madrid bottled a two goal lead at La Real and lost 4-2, and then again last week at the Calderón. After each of these defensive atrocities, Madrid have turned around and played Deportivo.
Real responded by scoring eight goals against Deportivo in the fall, and a similar performance this time could be just what the doctor ordered.
In Real Madrid's defensive third, Marcelo will return to the lineup. Deportivo have found the net only six times total away from home this season, and it may be because of their over-reliance on crosses and long balls. Managing Madrid's Dennis Seese wrote a fantastic scouting report in the fall, and most of what he diagnosed for Deportivo holds true. They use the flanks to get forward and lack a bit of midfield creativity. They play a bit of a 4-1-4-1, which should allow some space for Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo to move forward (they certainly did at the Riazor).
Ancelotti is being extorted into making squad rotations given the amount of injuries. Sami Khedira was lackluster against Atlético (though to be fair the entire squad was), and Asier Illarramendi may slide into the starting midfield in his place. With each passing match Lucas Silva's Real Madrid debut seems more and more imminent, and he may very well see some minutes in midfield this weekend. Many believed Keylor Navas may get the nod at keeper following Casillas' shocking performance against Atléti, but Ancelotti confirmed that Casillas will be the chosen one.
Bale, Benzema, and Ronaldo will round out the forwards, though expect to see Javier Hernández at some point. Chicharito scored a brace against Deportivo in their first meeting.
Love will not be in the air despite whatever the calendar says on Saturday. A convincing win wouldn't fix everything, but it'd certainly ease the tension at Real Madrid right now.
Projected lineup: Casillas; Marcelo, Varane, Nacho, Arbeloa; Isco, Kroos, Illarra; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Deportivo La Coruña
Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com