The reliable bookmaker 1xBet talks about the 24th round central game, where Real Madrid hosts Girona at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 10.
A crushing victory in the first round and problems in defense
This season, modest Girona unexpectedly burst into the traditional La Liga title race between Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atlético. The first-round game ended with Michel’s team’s 3-0 defeat, but since then, the Catalan squad hasn’t lost in the championship and approaches the match in Madrid just two points behind Los Blancos.
Recently, media attention has been focused on Real Madrid’s goalkeeping position, but the defensive line is no less worrying for Royal Club fans. Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rüdiger’s uncertain play regularly caused conceded goals, and only in 1 of the last 8 matches Real did not allow the opponent to score. In the struggle against Atlético Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti had to rely on the Carvajal-Fernandez pair in the center of defense, and their uncoordinated actions led to a missed goal in stoppage time. Rüdiger skipped the derby due to injury but has every chance to recover for the match against Girona. The situation is similar to Vinicius Junior, who avoided serious trauma and is ready to lead the team.
Best attack and leader losses
Girona has scored 52 goals, the best result in La Liga. At the same time, not only outsiders suffer from the Catalan Cinderella’s attacking schemes. The squad defeated Atlético Madrid (4-3) and Barcelona (4-2) but ended up with a goalless draw in the last game against Real Sociedad. It was largely due to the absence of the Catalans’ main forward, Artem Dovbyk. The Ukrainian injured his knee, and the Spanish press hastened to write that the football player won’t appear on the pitch this season. Fortunately for the White and Reds’ fans, it was a fake, and one of the top scorers in La Liga could recover for the main match.
With or without Dovbyk, Michel will remain true to his attacking philosophy in Madrid. Savio’s dribbling is still an unsolvable task for the opponents; Viktor Tsyhankov will again try to show off his football intelligence, while the experienced Cristhian Stuani feels comfortable in the joker role and regularly scores after coming on as a substitute. Losses in midfield and defense could prevent Girona from showing results in Madrid. Key players Yangel Herrera and Daley Blind will miss the game due to suspension, and no equal replacement is available. Another problem for the Catalans will be Michel’s absence on the bench. He was sent off in the last round for arguing with the referee and will watch the match from the stands.
What to expect?
Girona’s lack of key players will allow Real to impose its game on the opponent, but it doesn’t mean the Galacticos will run forward from the first minutes. Carlo Ancelotti is an experienced manager who knows how to achieve results and is ready to put pressure on the rival’s weak points throughout the match. Michel’s team’s chance is to quickly switch from defense to attack and try to take advantage of the obvious weaknesses in Real Madrid’s central defense. Girona fans can accept a defeat but will not understand if the team does not play their football.
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