Well there was some question as to whether or not this match would even take place as Catalonia declared their independence from Spain yesterday, but it seems it will resume as planned on Sunday. Third place Real looks to take 3 points away from the Estadio Montilivi in Girona. Doing so will continue their quest in the La Liga title race as they try to keep up with Barcelona and Valencia.
Real still has some significant injuries who will not be able to partake in their road match. Gareth Bale is still in training and will not be fit to play against Girona, and is still highly doubtful to make the trip to Wembley on Wednesday as reported earlier.
Another player who will miss Sunday’s match as well as Wednesday’s is Keylor Navas, who has missed the passed several matches will an injury sustained during international duty.
Then there’s Dani Carvajal who has missed a handful of matches because of his heart condition and will not feature against Girona either.
Mateo Kovacic is also still recovering from injury.
Potential Starting XIs
Real released their official 18-man squad for the Girona match and based off of this will be the potential starting XI:
With Navas still out, Casilla will get his 4th start for Real in La Liga this season. He’s their main backup keeper and has held on good enough since starting, so it’s guess that he will start.
D: Achraf, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo
As good as Nacho has been, now that Varane is back it should be expected that he gets the nod over Nacho in the starting squad. Achraf Hakimi, who has filled in for Carvajal, has proven himself quite well since starting and will most likely start at right back yet again. Ramos and Marcelo starting in the XI are, of course, no-brainers. Theo or Nacho could start if Zidane wants to rest either Marcelo or Varane for Tottenham.
MF: Modric, Casemiro, Kroos
After not starting against Eibar last weekend, expect Toni Kroos back in the starting XI. This is the best midfield pairing Real has to offer and tomorrow could perhaps turn out to be a big match. For whatever reason, Kroos or Modric could sit for Asensio or Ceballos, who both started last weekend.
F: Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo
Isco should start in the playmaker role behind Ronaldo and Benzema, where he fits best based on his elite footwork and dribbling skills. After Asensio started for Benzema against Eibar, Karim should be back alongside CR7 in the attacking role.
Players off the bench could include: Ceballos, Theo, and Asensio, who all started against Eibar but may not draw into the XI against Girona.
Based off their starting XI against Levante last weekend, Girona’s XI for Sunday can be predicted.
Bono, Bernardo, Ramalho, Pere Pons, Portu, Aday, Juanpe, Kayode, Aleix, Borja Garcia, Maffeo
This match will most likely be a symbolic one for Girona as they are a part of Catalonia and Madrid is, of course, the capital of Spain. There was doubt since the Catalans claimed independence from the country that this match would even happen due to safety concerns, but it appears to be on. Even though Girona is in 15th place in the standings, they will try their hardest against Los Blancos. So, Real must play their best football and not back off in the slightest.
3-0 Real Madrid-Girona FC
Goals by: Ronaldo (x2) and Isco
I’ve been terrible with predictions all season so far so don’t put too much credence into these picks, though Real is the overwhelming favorite to win this match. And as we’ve seen, Real has been better on the road than at home.
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM LA LIGA
Time: 16:15 CET, 11:15am EST, 08:15 am Pacific.
Venue: Montilivi, Girona, Spain.
Available Streaming: BeIN Sports (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madrid game with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a summer discount for new members and Managing Madrid readers).