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Open Thread: December 15, 2020.

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

Real Madrid

Hola Madridistas!

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail or Oscnar.

Fede Valverde is expected to start tonight and replace the suspended Casemiro in the XI.

Casemiro will be suspended for the game against Bilbao after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season after fouling Joao Felix in the first half of El Derbi. Fede Valverde having just returned from injury is likely to replace the Brazilian in the starting lineup.

Here is our squad list for the game:

Managing Madrid’s predicted starting lineup for the game is:

Real Madrid predicted XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo, Valverde, Kroos, Modric, Asensio, Rodrygo, Benzema.

Real Madrid draw Atalanta for Champions League’s Round of 16

Los Blancos managed to win their group even after their struggles during the Group Stage and therefore avoided to face tough teams like Bayern Munich, Manchester City or Liverpool in the next round of the competition. This looks to be a solid draw for Los Blancos and they will be considered heavy favorites to progress to the quarterfinals.

Atalanta are a very offensive-minded team who have been playing quality football for the last few years. However, main star Papu Gomez seems to be ready to leave the club during the winter transfer window after an argument with coach Gasperini, so that should make Madrid’s job much easier. All in all a good draw for Los Blancos.

Real Madrid will play the first leg away from home on the 24th of February, while the second leg will take place in Madrid on 16th of March 2021.

Who did everyone else draw?

Other teams do have a tougher task in the round of 16 compared to Los Blancos with the draw throwing up some juicy fixtures with interesting story lines, most notably the return of Neymar as Barcelona take on PSG. The Brazilian suffered what looked to be a horrific injury against Lyon but is expected to recover in time.

Here is the Champions League last-16 draw in full:

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Man City

Lazio vs Bayern Munich

Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea

RB Leipzig vs Liverpool

Porto vs Juventus

Barcelona vs PSG

Kiyan Sobhani and Diego Lorijn react to the draw in the most recent Churros y Tácticas Podcast. Do give it a listen.

ICYMI: Real Madrid Castilla seal derby double in dramatic fashion.

Kristofer McCormack reacts to the huge win by Raul’s team ensuring that both the senior and junior squads overcame their city rivals.