Real Madrid hit the road in the club’s final match of 2020 against Elche on Wednesday.
This is Elche’s first season back in the Primera División since the 2014-15 season and the first time the Valencian club will face Real since 2015. That was the historic season where Elche was relegated for the first time in league history due to tax debt.
Real Madrid is on a five match win streak where its kept three clean sheets in that span. The club is tied on points with Atletico for the top spot in La Liga.
Elche has had it rough for a while now this season. The club is currently sitting just above the relegation zone, but tied on points with 18th-place Valladolid. Elche has also failed to register a win in its last eight matches dating back to the end of October.
Real has fared well against Elche, winning the last eight matchups between the two clubs in league competition. Real has also won the last four road matches visiting the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.
Real Madrid will be without just one player in Rodrygo, who’s injury could keep him out around three months. The rest of the squad is healthy and available on Wednesday.
Elche will likely be without defender Diego Gonzalez and midfielder Omenuke Mfulu.
There are no suspensions for the midweek matchup.
Badia; Barragan, Gonzalo, Calvo, Josema; Marcone; Josan, Guti, Fidel, Morente; Boye
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Vazquez, Hazard, Benzema
With an almost full squad Zidane can finally use his depth available to his advantage. Modric avoided injury but missed the match against Granada last week. He should be able to start but if not Valverde is the most likely replacement.
Lucas Vazquez has been starting the last few weeks on the right wing. Now that Martin Ødegaard is fully back, he and Asensio are options to start alternatively.
Eden Hazard should be fit to start after he returned to the squad last week after missing around a month of action.
Elche—Real Madrid 1-3
This should be a fairly winnable match given the directions both of these clubs are going in at present. Real is on a formidable winning streak while Elche is on a lengthy winless streak.
Real need to get three points from an easier matchup on Wednesday in order to keep up in this neck-and-neck race with Atletico. Now that there’s a relatively full squad, they should be able to get the job done against one of the bottom teams in the league.
Having Eden Hazard likely back in the starting squad for the first time in a month is a huge boost for an attack that is already second in the league in goalscoring this season.
Real will want to close out the year with a big win that keeps its title race steaming ahead into 2021.