Real Madrid will be looking to build on last Monday’s win against Rayo when they welcome Deportivo to the Bernabeu on Sunday night (6.50pm BST).
Real Madrid’s game with Rayo finally got underway on Monday night following vandalism at the Vallecas stadium the day before. It was also another 24 hours for the team to sit on the need for three points, but disappointment was always a possibility.
Jose Mourinho’s team looked good in spells but still not totally convincing. The defence allowed a lot of pressure on Iker Casillas’ goal from the Rayo attackers, while Alvaro Arbeloa’s back pass and the one to Casillas could have led to a goal and equaliser for the home team.
There’s also been a lot of stories circulating about the manager speaking out against his team. Mourinho needs a reaction from this team and they need to get themselves up the La Liga table and closer to Barcelona.
Sergio Ramos, who was dropped for the game against Manchester City in the Champions League, returned to the line up against Rayo and should partner Pepe once again this weekend.
It’s difficult to say whether the win against Manchester City is the turning point for Madrid this season because, as mentioned, they weren’t looking 100 percent convincing in their last game.
But a win is a win and Angel Di Maria looked much better from his showings in previous games. It was certainly a choice of who to drop between Di Maria and Mesut Ozil for the game at Rayo, with the Argentine finally making the starting XI. Ozil has also not been great recently but Di Maria stepped up and assisted in the opening goal.
Karim Benzema was the scorer on the night and it was good to see him back in the line up. Gonzalo Higuain is simply wasting too many chances in front of goal, something that was highlighted again in the last game as Cristiano Ronaldo fed a pass which was sent wide by the striker.
I fully expect Benzema to start again this weekend, he’s the player in form and certainly the better finisher.
Deportivo are doing quite well, despite losing their last league game at home and drawing away to Granada. They are in 10th with plenty of ambition to finish high in the league table.
Are they a match for what Levante did last season in clinching a Europa League spot? That’s not clear at this stage and Levante had not lost at this point last season. There are similarities but a win for them is extremely unlikely in this match. Of their two away games this season, they’ve drawn both.
Remember, Real Madrid will have plenty of focus on the Champions League game against Ajax next week as well as El Clasico next weekend.
Rotation should be on the cards for Mourinho and it would be wise to use players like Kaka is this match. The Brazilian is still an excellent player who can contribute.
Fabio Coentrao is also back from suspension, but the manager prefers to use Marcelo at left-back in home game such as this.
Real Madrid v Deportivo Betting Tips
The money should be on Real Madrid this weekend and I really don’t see anything other than a win for Jose Mourinho’s team, though the bookies agree and have them as 1/8 shots to win.
- So I’m backing a 2-0 win for Madrid in this game @ 13/2 with Ladbrokes.