??Real Madrid will have to quickly get over the disappointment of their defeat in the UEFA Super Cup at the hands of Atletico Madrid as they kick off their La Liga campaign against Getafe on Sunday.
Los Blancos have endured a turbulent summer which saw them lose their talisman ?Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus and, as of yet, the acquisition of goalkeeper Thibaut Coutois has been their only marquee signing during the transfer window.
Despite this, they’ll still be expected to challenge for the La Liga title and under new manager Julen Lopetegui it will be very interesting to see how they will fare.
Getafe aren’t going to roll over easily if last season is anything to go by and after finishing with the third best defensive record in the league in 2017/18, they’ll be looking to kick on again this this season.
For the most part, it was a very successful pre-season for Real Madrid, who won all but one of their matches in the International Champions Cup. They defeated three Italian oponents in the shape of Roma, AC Milan and Juventus, but were undone by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester Unted.
Los Blancos officially started their list of competitive fixtures earlier in the week against bitter rivals Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup. They looked slightly off the pace and ended up being defeated in extra time by ultimately hungrier opposition.
Getafe haven’t played against sides who are anywhere near the same quality, but they have gone the whole summer unbeaten, rounding off their summer with an entertaining 3-3 draw against Girona.
All the focus will be on the goalkeeping position as it is not yet clear as to whether new signing Thibaut Courtois will be ready to make his debut for Los Blancos.
The Belgian stopper is set to eventually become the first choice keeper at the Bernabeu, but he sat to watch from the stands against Atletico as Keylor Navas retained his spot in goal.
Luka Modric started from the bench against Atletico so he is unlikely to start as he looks to get back to full fitness after returning from the World Cup.
Getafe made plenty of signings during the transfer window and there should be a few debuts handed out across the park.
Nemanja Maksimovic, fresh from joining on a permanent deal from Valencia is likely to start in central midfield, but it may be difficult for new strikers Jaime Mata and Sergi Guardiola to displace Angel Rodriguez and Jorge Molina.
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Isco, Bale, Asensio, Benzema.
Getafe: Soria, Suarez, Dakonam, Gonzalez, Antunes, Portillo, Maksimovic, Arambarri, Ndiaye, Rodriguez, Molina.
Real Madrid already have a serious point to prove this season, despite the fact that they are currently the Champions League holders and are undeniably one of the best sides in the world.
It was strange to watch Real without Ronaldo against Atletico, but Los Blancos will have to get used to his absence from the side pronto.
Barcelona and Atletico will be fighting tooth and nail to win the title this year, so a slow league start will be the last thing that Lopetegui needs.
Getafe proved that they can more than hold their own and they should do well again this season after comfortably finishing in the top half of the league last time around.
However, Real will be coming out swinging after their midweek loss and they should have enough quality to get back to winning ways immediately.
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe