Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is the venue as Real Madrid and Getafe go head-to-head in an all-capital La Liga showdown on Saturday evening.
Jude Bellingham turned on a ‘hero mode’ last weekend to catapult Los Blancos to a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo.
Rodrygo spurned a penalty midway through the second half, but the English playmaker grabbed his fourth goal of the season to give Carlo Ancelotti some consolation.
Madrid paid a hefty price at the Baladios as standout forward Vinicius Junior picked up a hamstring injury, which could sideline him until early October.
Getafe, who held the reigning Spanish champions to a tepid 0-0 draw on the opening weekend, will be looking to reap the benefit of Vinicius’ absence to pull off another upset.
Jose Bordalas’ team got off the mark in the previous round, with Borja Mayoral’s late penalty firing El Geta to a much-needed 1-0 home win over newly-promoted Deportivo Alaves.
Before beating Alaves, Getafe had failed to get on the scoresheet in their first two league outings this season (D1, L1), including a dreadful 3-0 loss at Girona on their only road trip thus far.
The Bernabeu faithful has a new hero in Bellingham, whose scoring prowess during his early days in Spain has made the fans forget about Karim Benzema’s exit.
With the Frenchman gone and Vinicius healing his hamstring, the 20-year-old will be under the spotlight as Los Merengues bid to beat Getafe ‘to nil’ in a sixth consecutive La Liga encounter at home.
Since going down in February 2008, the record-time Spanish champions have won all 14 league matches against their neighbours at the Bernabeu, while they’ve not lost any of their last five top-flight H2Hs (W4, D1).
All that bodes well for Madrid’s hopes of getting their 2023/24 La Liga home campaign off to a flying start after finishing last season unbeaten in five straight home league games (W4, D1).
Based on Getafe’s mixed three-game league start, another season-long struggle in the bottom half of the table looms for Bordalas’ men, who have finished 15th in each of the last three seasons.
They avoided relegation by a tiny margin last term, finishing only two points clear of 18th-placed Valladolid while scoring the second-fewest 34 goals amongst the sides to have secured survival.
Away goals came at a premium for Getafe in the 2022/23 campaign, as they averaged just 0.68 per game outside the Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Since their last La Liga goal at the Bernabeu dates back to March 2018, there’s a decent probability their two-game scoring drought away from home will continue beyond this weekend.
Vinicius’ absence comes as another massive blow for Madrid after losing first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and dependable centre-back Eder Militao to injuries earlier in August.
Exciting summer signing Arda Guler is still out with a knee problem, but Dani Ceballos could rejoin the fold after returning to training from a thigh injury.
Enes Unal’s comeback from a long-term knee issue cannot come soon enough for Getafe, but they’ll need to do it without their talisman here.
Luis Milla is another absentee in the visiting squad, while Mauro Arrambari and Jose Angel Carmona could start on the bench.
Real Madrid potential starting line-up:
(4-3-1-2): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba, Fran Garcia; Federico Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga; Jude Bellingham; Joselu, Rodrygo.
Getafe potential starting line-up:
(4-4-2): David Soria; Damian Suarez, Domingos Duarte, Stefan Mitrovic, Gaston Alvarez; Juan Iglesias, Nemanja Maksimovic, Djene, Jaime Mata; Borja Mayoral, Juanmi Latasa.
We Say: Real Madrid 1-0 Getafe
Getafe will probably ‘park the bus’ in a desperate attempt to frustrate Madrid’s Vinicius-less frontline, but we back Los Merengues to maintain their perfect league start.
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