Real Madrid host Getafe at the Di Stefano on Thursday. Barcelona dropped another two points in their match against Atlético, which gives Real the chance to go up by four points with a win.
The chance to increase the league lead for Real Madrid makes this a crucial match, as pretty much every match will be crucial from here on. This will be the first team in the top six Real have faced since the restart.
These two clubs met back at the Alfonso Pérez in January where Real took a formidable 3-0 victory on the road. Even with that prior result, Getafe remain a top side because of their defensive performances.
Getafe haven’t been stellar since the league’s resumption. They’ve only won one of their five matches. However, they’ve also only allowed five goals across those matches.
This will be a true test for Real as they need to once again capitalize on Barcelona dropping points. And they will have to do it against a side who know well how to limit goals and force results.
Real Madrid will be without Eden Hazard, likely precautionary as he was dealing with pain in training. Nacho remains out with injury. Ferland Mendy and Luka Modric are back in the squad after serving suspensions. And both Luka Jovic and Lucas Vazquez are back after recovering from injury.
Getafe will be without centerback Erick Cabaco.
There are no suspensions for either club in Thursday’s match.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Vinicius, Benzema
Mendy and Modric may very well slot right back into the starting lineup after serving suspensions against Espanyol.
Missing Hazard for this match hurts a lot, but Zidane certainly has plenty of options. We could see Vinicius get the start on the left side in his place. As for the right, Isco started there against Los Periquitos but may go with Gareth Bale. Perhaps we see Asensio finally get a start or maybe even a quick return from Vazquez.
Soria; Suárez, Djené, Etxeita, Olivera; Nyom, Arambarri, Maksimović, Cucurella; Duro, Mata
Real Madrid—Getafe 2-0
This is a tough matchup for Real Madrid, possibly the toughest yet since the restart given Getafe’s current place in the standings. It’s made even tougher with Eden Hazard being unavailable, but Zidane has more options than ever.
This is a top defensive side Real will be facing on Thursday. Getafe have conceded the second least amount of goals in LaLiga this season, just two more allowed than Athletic Club. They can force points out of matches through wins or draws, as they’ve taken points away from four of the five matches since restart.
It will not come easy if Los Blancos hope to extend their lead over Barcelona. A loss would still see Real lead by a point, but extending it at any opportunity like this is crucial. They need to be at their best if they want to break this strong defensive structure that José Bordalás has constructed.
Three points are needed and so is a strong showing from Real Madrid. They need to prove if this is their year with a win over a top six side and extending a crucial lead.