The moment we’ve all been waiting several months for is almost upon us as Real Madrid get ready to play their first LaLiga match since March on Sunday. Los Blancos play host to Eibar at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano while the Bernabéu is undergoing construction.
These two clubs played back in November in a 4-0 rout for Real at the Ipurua. There’s bound to be some rust on both sides given the long stretch without playing.
Upon return Real find themselves second in the league table, just two points trailing Barcelona. That is subject to change as Mallorca play Barcelona on Saturday.
LaLiga returned to action with El Gran Derbi on Thursday. Now, it’s Real’s chance to return to the pitch and continue their quest for the league title.
Both Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard are in the matchday squad after long-term injuries. Nacho is out with a thigh injury, Castilla’s Javi Hernández is in the squad in his absence. Lucas Vazquez will also miss Real’s return with a muscle strain. Luka Jovic is still out with a broken heel.
Eibar have no significant injuries to their squad on Sunday. They will be without Gonzalo Escalante due to suspension.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Hazard, Benzema
Even with a few injuries still, Zidane has most of his squad in his hands for Sunday’s match. This means he’ll have some tough decisions in regards to choosing Mendy over Marcelo or Valverde over Modric.
Hazard will surely be making his first start back from injury on the left side. Zidane has a choice to make on the right, though. He could give the nod to Bale after coming into training as the reported most fit player. But, he also has Rodrygo, Vinicius or even Isco. He likely holds off on starting Asensio so soon as to not re-aggravate injury.
Dmitrovic; Arbilla, Oliveira, Bigas, Cote; León, Diop, Cristoforo, Orellana; Enrich, Charles
Real Madrid—Eibar 2-0
As said earlier, there’s bound to be some rust on the players for both sides after such a long break. That being said, this is a match Real should be winning despite the potential of sloppy play initially. Eibar are in 16th and just two points out of the relegation zone.
Having Hazard back in the starting lineup is a huge boost as he was starting to really pick up his game before he re-injured himself. Getting Asensio back for this season is a cherry on top.
Real need to be winning this match as they really can’t afford to fall far behind Barcelona. They should be able to after dominating the first match between these two clubs.
We’ve waited a while to see this club return to the pitch amidst the ongoing pandemic. The Spanish season return is right upon us now. Even though it won’t be in the majesty of the Bernabéu, it’s wonderful to just get Real Madrid football back.