Real Madrid will be looking to end their recent barren run of form when they take on Deportivo Alaves in La Liga on Saturday.
The Champions League holders have now not only gone three games without a win, but for the first time since 2006 have also gone three games without scoring a goal – their latest loss coming against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
They’re set to take on a high-flying Alaves side who currently sit just three points behind them in sixth place. It could be a potential banana skin game for Madrid, however it could also act as a huge confidence booster should they be able to find a win.
Here’s how Julen Lopetegui could line his side up on Saturday night for what looks to be close to a must-win game for his team.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – Despite making a promising start to his Real Madrid career having kept two clean sheets in his first five games, Courtois has leaked a few goals recently, and knows he will have to step his game up if he wants to keep the number one spot with Keylor Navas waiting patiently in the wings.
Alvaro Odriozola (RB) – With Dani Carvajal out through injury, Alvaro Odriozola is expected to replace his compatriot at right back.
Raphael Varane (CB) – He’s already won almost every trophy there is to win at the age of just 25, having won 16 trophies during his time at the club, and his side will need his winning mentality on Saturday.
Sergio Ramos (CB) – It was clear Real missed their captain during their loss to CSKA Moscow with Ramos sitting out of the defeat, however he is set to come back into the side on Saturday, news which will be music to Madrid fans’ ears.
Nacho (LB) – With Marcelo missing the clash with Alaves with a calf injury, Nacho is set to hold the left hand side of the Madrid defence in his place.
Casemiro (CDM) – Positioned just in front of Real’s back four, Casemiro has played in all of Madrid’s games so far this campaign and has established himself as one of their key players in recent seasons.
Toni Kroos (CM) – One of the first names on the team sheet every week, Kroos is set to keep his role in the heart of the Madrid midfield.
Luka Modric (CM) – Completing a stellar midfield will be Modric – recently crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year – who will look to leave his mark on the game.
Marco Asensio (LW) – He’ll have been disappointed with his start to the season having scored just one goal in nine appearances in all competitions so far, however Asensio will be hoping to kickstart his campaign on Saturday with a good performance.
Karim Benzema (ST) – Set to lead the Madrid front line is Benzema who after scoring four goals in his first two games has now not scored since.
Gareth Bale (RW) – After Ronaldo’s summer departure, Bale has really stepped up to the mark having scored three goals and bagged two assists in six La Liga appearances so far and after being rested on Tuesday night, will likely feature against Alaves on Saturday.