La Liga toppers Real Madrid will face off against Alaves on Saturday, 19th February night at the Bernabeu.
Los Blancos will be looking to get back on track when they host relegation-threatened Alaves in the second leg of their La Liga campaign.
As of right now, Los Blancos are in the first place, four points ahead of second-placed Sevilla, while Alaves are in 18th place, four points below the safety of 17th place going into the next round of matches.
Real Madrid was sensational in the first few months of 2022, winning five consecutive games across all competitions. However, the capital giants have since won only one of their past five games, a 1-0 victory against Granada in La Liga on February 6, which is a disappointing result.
With draws against Elche and Villarreal in their past two league games, Los Blancos have enabled second-placed Sevilla to reduce the gap. With just four points separating the top two teams, there is a great deal of pressure on the home side to win this match.
Los Blancos will approach the contest on the back of an upset 1-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 game on Tuesday night, meaning they will have some work to do in their return leg at the Bernabeu next month if they are to move into the second round.
However, Carlo Ancelotti’s side must first win three consecutive league games against Alaves, Rayo Vallecano, and Real Sociedad, and they will be determined to do so to keep up with Sevilla, who are the only other team still in contention for the title this season, who are refusing to give up their pursuit of the trophy.
The Whites have performed admirably at the Bernabeu in the league this season, collecting 28 points from 12 games, which is the second-best record in the league. However, they will be up against an Alaves side that has the second-worst away record in Spain’s top flight this season, having collected just five points from 11 games.
As previously stated, Alaves are presently 18th in the standings, four points below 17th-placed Granada, and the club is facing a difficult uphill struggle to maintain their existence at this level for another season.
They have collected 20 points from a record of five wins, five draws, and 14 losses, but they have scored the fewest goals in the league this season, with just 19 goals scored, which is a cause for worry as they fight to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Jose Luis Mendilibar’s team, on the other hand, will come into this encounter on the back of a great result, having won 2-1 at home against Valencia in their previous outing, with Joselu’s late penalty clinching all three points in front of their own fans.
In their five seasons in La Liga, El Glorioso have finished ninth, fourteenth, eleventh, sixteenth, and sixteenth in the standings, therefore it would come as a surprise if they were relegated at the end of the current campaign.
Despite conceding a total of eight goals in their past two league games against Real Madrid, including a 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture back in August, Alaves managed to come from behind to win 2-1 at the Bernabeu the previous season.
RMA vs ALA, La Liga 2021/22
Date: 20th February 2022
Time: 1:30 AM IST
Venue: Santiago Bernabéu
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Alaves La Liga form:
Total Played: 23 matches
Real Madrid: 18 wins
AS Roma: 3 wins
Carlo Ancelotti moved his players quite a bit last weekend in preparation for the PSG away encounter.
Marcelo, Federico Valverde, and even Gareth Bale feature in the XI at El Madrigal; the Welshman having not played for Real Madrid since the 28th of August before that game.
Because there is no midweek match scheduled, Ancelotti is under no need to do the same here.
Karim Benzema played 87 minutes against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, but he seemed to be out of shape and may not start this game.
Given that Luka Jovic is not favoured by Carlo, Rodrygo, Eden Hazard, or even Gareth Bale might find themselves back in the starting XI.
José Luis Mendilibar, on the other hand, will be hopeful that the additional rest his squad has had will assist them to close the difference in quality.
Because Ximo Navarro has been a long-term absence at right-back, Nahuel Tenaglia will retain his starting position.
Joselu continues to be a critical member of this side, having scored a remarkable 12 of their 19 La Liga goals (63.2 percent) thus far this season.
Mamadou Loum and captain Victor Laguardia, who each scored two goals, are the team’s next biggest scorers after that.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Tenaglia, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Jason, Escalante, Pina, Loum, Rioja; Joselu
Even though Real Madrid isn’t in the greatest of form right now, they still have an unblemished home record in the league this season.
After going goalless in back-to-back games, they’ll be hoping to score a pair of goals, with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior both trying to put an end to their goalless streaks in the process.
To draw inspiration from their last road encounter against the side, Alaves will look back on their most recent meeting. Even though Alaves have a plethora of offensive alternatives at their disposal, the home side is the favourite to take all three points.
Score Predictions- RMA 4-1 ALA