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Open Thread: December 20, 2020.

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

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.

It’s Matchday!

Clear up your schedules, don your jerseys and get the beverages ready. Real Madrid travel to the Ipurua Stadium today to face Eibar.

Yesterday, Los Blancos worked in a final training session before the game at the Valdebebas Stadium. Check out some of the images of Modric, Valverde, Ramos, et al. in action here: https://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2020/12/19/final-workout-ahead-of-eibar-trip

Squad and Rotations.

The big and great news is that Real Madrid finally have a deep squad. But does Zinedine Zidane risk losing the form and chemistry the reigning champions have shown over their last three consecutive league wins with a significant rotation?

Lucas Navarrete has laid out the full lineup and discussed some of the scenarios we could see here: https://www.managingmadrid.com/2020/12/19/22190673/real-madrid-eibar-2020-squad-list-players

Los Armeros will be feeling fairly confident after a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad last Sunday. They are, however, missing a number of players due to injury: Cote, Paulo Oliveira, Rober Correa, Jose Antonio Martinez, Sergi Enrich and Quique Gonzalez, while mainstay central defender Esteban Burgos is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Eibar ordinarily feature a stoutly defensive 4-4-2, but they do possess some players with pace and vigor who can pressure effectively as well as break on the counter.

For Real Madrid, look to see whether the 35 year old ageless phenom Luka Modric finally gets an extra day of recovery. Rodrygo and Jovic are a couple of names fans often mention as figures they would like to see get starting minutes and advance their games further.

We might recall the last time Madrid and Eibar squared off, June 14, 2020; here was Kiyan’s immediate reaction: https://www.managingmadrid.com/2020/6/14/21290880/immediate-reaction-real-madrid-3-1-eibar

Toni Kroos led off the scoring with a world class strike into the top corner: https://www.beinsports.com/us/laliga/video/kroos-stuns-eibar-with-world-class-goal/1484100

Notable results from Saturday in La Liga.

Barcelona 2 - 2 Valencia. Messi pulled level with Pele’s record of 643 goals for one club, but it was bittersweet for the Blaugranes as they dropped points yet again. They sit at fifth place in La Liga with 21 points.

Atletico Madrid 3 - 1 Elche. Diego Simeone rallied his troops after their midweek defeat to a dominant Real Madrid. Atleti presently sit atop the table alone with 29 points.

Levante 2 - 1 Real Sociedad. La Real’s hope of carrying their good form into further fixtures suffered another blow on Saturday, after drawing last Sunday with Eibar.

Osasuna 1 - 3 Villarreal. Gerard Moreno netted twice for the Yellow Submarine, at 6’ and 85’, to keep them breathing down Real Madrid’s necks at 25 points.