Carlo Ancelotti takes his Real Madrid side just across the other side of town, and a date with Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez this weekend.
A win for Los Blancos will consolidate their position at the top of the La Liga table. Against a team that they have beaten in three of the last four, you might expect this result to be a foregone conclusion.
Is there any way that the home side can spring a surprise? Let’s take a look at three things that could shape the outcome of this game….
Bruising Copa del Rey
Make no mistake, the second leg against Atletico will have taken a toll on the body, and Real’s stars may seem a little leggy as a result. Pepe is obviously out of the game after his clash with Antoine Griezmann.
If Quique Sanchez Flores’s men can make a fast start and edge ahead then there is a slight possibility that a backs-against-the-wall performance thereafter might be able to garner a much-needed point.
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It’s the only hope they realistically have of taking anything from a fixture where they’ve lost three from the last four at home.
Where is everybody?
For some while now Getafe have had issues with regards to home attendance. Against Almeria just this past week, only 3,100 bothered to turn up to watch their heroes. Against Barcelona too, there was a paucity of fans willing to support their side.
Much of this can be attributed to a very high price policy by the club, and the working man has voted with his feet. A full house is certainly required to make an intimidating an atmosphere as possible.
The home side will feed off of the buzz around the stadium and raise their game accordingly. Should the locals decide to stay indoors, it could be to the detriment of their own team.
Bouyant Los Blancos
A successful outing to the Ballon d’Or in Zurich should also see the team arrive at the game in buoyant mood.
Star man Cristiano Ronaldo returned from Zurich as expected with the Ballon d’Or, James Rodriguez with the Puskas Trophy and Sergio Ramos joining the two to form part of FIFA’s team of the year.
Despite a recent blip in form, Real are primed to go on another long unbeaten run, spirits are high and that breeds confidence.