Finally, the first match of the brand new La Liga season is upon us. After a crushing extra-time loss to Atlético in the Super Cup, Real Madrid return home to face off against Getafe. This will also be of course the first official league fixture for Julen Lopetegui as Real manager.
Real have the advantage of playing recently and being as fit as you can be for Sunday’s match. Getafe haven’t played for a week, when they took on Girona in a preseason friendly. Real finished third in the league table last season, as we know, while Getafe finished 8th.
Both clubs will be wanting to start the season off on the right foot, Real also looking to impress after losing to Atlético on Wednesday. Given this match is at the Bernabéu and are the better side on paper, this is an absolute must-win for Real to get the season started off well. Lose, and perhaps even draw, and the questions raised with this current squad get even more heated and concerning.
Vallejo and Odriozola are both still out with injury for Real Madrid. Neither featured in the squad for the Super Cup. There doesn’t appear to be an estimated timetable for their return at this point.
Midfielder Markel Bergara is out with an arm injury for Getafe and unlikely to feature in this match.
This could look how Lopetegui fields the Real Madrid lineup in Sunday’s match. Modrić did not start against Atlético, but was subbed on in the second half. The question with him will be if he is fully match fit coming back from the World Cup Final. After subbing on in the past two matches for Real, I would think he’s ready to start. If not, expect a lineup similar to the Super Cup with Asensio on the left, Isco at the 10, and Bale on the right. And a 2-man midfield of Kroos and Casemiro backing them up.
There’s always the debate between Navas and Courtois as well. Navas didn’t play that well against Atlético, though clearly not on him as much as the poor defense, but he will likely get the start in the first La Liga match of the season.
Real Madrid-Getafe 3-0
As said before, this should be a must-win for Real Madrid to get the season started off right. The defense has to be much better than they were against Atlético, simply way too many mistakes were made that directly lead to goals against. Obviously, there was pressure that Atlético are a top side that can capitalize on those sort of misplays.
Getafe can’t be simply ruled out, any club can win in any given match, but Real are still the clear favorites. Real have to put in the effort to get the results they want, can’t make endless turnovers and lazy plays. Bale and Benzema will also be looked at critically to take part in the scoring mainly.
Being at home should boost the confidence of Real as well, always a good thing to play in front of your home crowd to start the season off. Even more of a good thing when you get a win and all 3 points in front of them too.
A new season and era begins on Sunday and we hope it begins with a big win.