Real Madrid take on Alavés at the Di Stefano on Friday. It’s been a decent break since Real last played the past weekend. They now hold a match in-hand over Barcelona, who trail by a single point heading into this match.
It’s been a rather tough season for Alavés, who are just three points ahead of the relegation zone. They’ve conceded the third most goals in the league, tied with Valencia and Eibar. They’ve also scored the fourth least amount of goals and have lost all but one of their matches since the restart. They’re currently on a five match losing streak.
These two clubs met back in November where Real took a 2-1 victory at the Mendizorroza. Now Real must do it again at their temporary home to restore a larger point lead against Barcelona heading into the weekend.
Real Madrid will be without the suspended Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Luka Jovic is reportedly in quarantine after potential contact with a coronavirus-positive friend. Marcelo and Nacho are both injured. Eden Hazard is back in the lineup.
Alavés will be likely without goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco and left back Rubén Duarte.
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Militão, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Hazard, Benzema
With limited options on defense with several defenders out, Zidane will have to get creative to fill those spots. This means Vazquez will likely have to step in for Carvajal, since Militão will be covering for Ramos.
Hazard had reportedly went out of training on Thursday, but Zidane says he is fine and he is back in the lineup. We’ll see if he starts or if he features off the bench for Vinicius.
Roberto; Aguirregabiria, Magallán, Laguardia, Marín; Sainz, Camarasa, Pina, Méndez; Joselu, Pérez
Real Madrid—Alavés 3-1
This is a must-win for Real Madrid given the necessity to extend the lead and the slump Alavés are currently in. They’ve only scored three goals since the restart and have been goalless in their last two matches. And it’s been losses to clubs mainly in the bottom half of the table. It has indeed been dire straights for the babazorros.
Despite their horrendous form currently, Alavés will still be fighting hard. Not just to get out of their slump, but also because they need points to further distance themselves from the threat of relegation that’s only three points trailing them.
This is a club Real Madrid should beat given how stellar they’ve been since restart. It’s two clubs literally going in opposite directions currently. They must not get overconfident, they will be more vulnerable at the back without Ramos and Carvajal. They must capitalize on Alavés’ poor run in order to get three needed points at home.