Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Huesca in La Liga on Sunday

Real Madrid have flattered to deceive so far this season and, despite winning eight of their last ten, currently reside fifth in La Liga. 

However, Sunday’s assignment is an opportunity for Los Blancos to get back on track, as a win against bottom of the league Huesca could see them climb as high as third depending on results elsewhere around the country.

Manager Santiago Solari was able to rest much of his star-studded squad for Thursday’s Copa del Rey tie, fielding a team largely made up of periphery players. The Argentine will have an almost fully fit squad to select from for this weekend’s tie with Toni Kroos and Casemiro likely to be the only first-team absentees.

Here’s a look at how Los Blancos could line up on Sunday.

3. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – After missing the opening two games of the season, Courtois has not missed a minute of football in La Liga since. But the Belgian has been far from his best in Madrid colours thus far, keeping only four league clean sheets. 

Dani Carvajal (RB) – The 26-year-old has endured a season blighted by injury so far, meaning he has featured only seven times in La Liga this term. It is no secret that Carvajal is an integral part of this Real Madrid side, as the Spaniard is yet to lose a game in any competition this season where he has played the full 90 minutes.

Sergio Ramos (CB) – Ramos is yet to miss a minute in La Liga this year and has continued his impressive habit of scoring goals from the back. The Spaniard has already notched four times in the league this season, making him the club’s third top scorer behind Benzema and Bale.

Raphael Varane (CB) – The World Cup winner suffered a torrid display against Eibar a fortnight ago but appeared to recover quickly as he submitted an assured performance last time out against Valencia. The 25-year-old has already procured 16 trophies with Real Madrid and will be desperate to bolster his cabinet’s stock further this season.

Marcelo (LB) – Marcelo is another defender who has suffered with injury woes this season and has appeared just eight times in the league for Solari’s side. Lamentably, in seven of those eight appearances, the Brazilian has seen his team concede at least once. As a result, both Marcelo and his fellow defensive allies will be desperate to register a clean sheet on Sunday against a side who have scored just four times at home.

2. Midfielders

Luka Modric (CM) – Should the Croat feature in Sunday’s game, it’ll be his first appearance since picking up the coveted Ballon D’or trophy earlier this week. Despite appearing in all 14 league games this term, Modric has picked up only two assists which is far too low of a return for one of the game’s most creative players.

Dani Ceballos (CM) – The 22-year-old is regularly utilised from the bench however in the absence of Toni Kroos and Casemiro, Ceballos has grasped his chance and is fortunate enough to learn from and play alongside the best in the business.

Marcos Llorente (CM) – Llorente is slightly further down the pecking order than his midfield colleague Ceballos, however the Spaniard has also been granted his chance in light of Madrid’s current shallowness in midfield. He played the full 90 minutes of their crucial win over Valencia and will be hopeful of more game time this weekend.

1. Forwards

Gareth Bale (RW) – The Cardiff-born phenomenon was faced with the ominous task of replacing one Cristiano Ronaldo this season, since the Portuguese winger fled the shores of Spain last Summer. Bale has performed well so far, scoring six times in all competitions. However, the former Tottenham man has not scored now for ten league games and will be keen to buck that trend on Sunday.

Karim Benzema (ST) – Benzema has also helped to fill the Ronaldo-shaped void in Madrid’s attack this season, with the Frenchman contributing nine goals and five assists in all competitions so far.

Lucas Vazquez (LW) – The tricky winger opened his La Liga account for the season in last weekend’s win over Valencia and will be hoping to forge some goal scoring form now having scored just once in 12 league appearances this term.

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River President Admits Negotiations Will Continue With Real Madrid Over Exequiel Palacios

?The president of River Plate, Rodolfo D’Onofrio, has admitted the club “can’t cut” the career of Exequiel Palacios amid his proposed transfer to Real Madrid.

Palacios, 20, is set to play at Los Blancos’ home this weekend, as the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu following crowd troubles in Argentina ahead of the proposed date of the second leg in November.

Boca Juniors v River Plate - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018

It could be the first of many games that Palacios plays in the Spanish capital, with his current club president at River Plate stating that talks between the two parties are set to continue following the final.

Speaking to ?MARCA, he said: “We are not currently talking about Palacios but about 20 days ago [Madrid director Emilio] Butragueno spoke to Enzo Francescoli about the player, but with a view to continuing negotiations later.

“The economic differences between Real Madrid and River are very large. It’s very difficult to retain a player, but history tells us that the player sees a future opportunity and we can’t cut his career.

“The club can’t be closed and must open themselves up to negotiation. That a player from River goes to Madrid is also prestigious for River.”

The midfielder has been courted by the ?La Liga for some time such is his talent, as Rodolfo D’Onofrio paid tribute to the Argentine midfielder ahead of his expected move to ?Real Madrid.

He added: “He’s at a great level, but I think it would be good to play for one more year in Argentina. However, that is not my decision. We will negotiate, Madrid know that.

“He is very young but he is very serious, and seems older than he is. A very complete player. If they really love him, the move would be ideal for both the player and Real Madrid.”

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Real Madrid Submit 23-Man Squad to Feature in Club World Cup

?Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari has confirmed his squad for this year’s Club World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates this month.

Los Blancos’ domestic campaign hasn’t been a smooth ride since the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer. The club have suffered numerous embarrassing results and sacked Julen Lopetegui before the end of October, bringing in Solari to replace him.

Real Madrid v Valencia CF - La Liga

The Argentinian has seen an upturn in results, guiding his side to three wins in four games, despite the obvious improvement, the side from the capital still sit in fifth, five points behind leaders Barcelona.

Solari’s squad has now been released for the Club World Cup, via ?Marca, and there are a few surprises.


Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla.

Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Sergio Reguilon.

Midfielders: Casemiro, Marcos Llorente, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos, Fede Valverde.

Forwards: Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Mariano, Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius Junior.


Both Nacho and Casemiro are surprise inclusions in the squad, with both still carrying injuries. Casemiro hasn’t featured for Los Blancos since November 11th and Nacho is still suffering from an MCL injury.

Solari appears to be confident that both will be fit for the tournament though. The Argentinian has also opted against bringing defender Jesus Vallejo, despite the youngster being in need of minutes for his development.

Gremio v Real Madrid: Final - FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017

Real will be looking to clinch the Club World Cup four the fourth time in their history, they’ll be facing the likes of Guadalajara and Kashima Antlers at the tournament in the UAE.

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Huesca vs Real Madrid Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Real Madrid will head north-east to the ancient city of Huesca on Sunday afternoon, in La Liga’s equivalent of the David versus Goliath tale.

The visitors will look to secure their fourth win in a row in all competitions and will be expected to return to the capital with all three points, with their hosts currently residing in last place, propping up some of the country’s most gilded clubs.

RC Celta de Vigo v SD Huesca - La Liga

Check out 90min’s preview of Sunday’s game below.


How To Watch

When Is Kick Off? Sunday 9 December
?What Time Is Kick Off? ?15:15 GMT
?Where Is it Played?  ?Estadio El Alcoraz
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?beIN La Liga

Team News

World Cup winner ?Toni Kroos in unlikely to be fit in time for this weekend’s clash, with the German publicising his ongoing knee problems on Twitter earlier this week.

Santiago Solari will also be without midfielder Casemiro who has sat out the last four games with a sprained ankle. In the absence of two of the club’s best midfielders, Spanish youngsters Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente have enjoyed a prolonged run in the starting XI alongside Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric. 

Huesca will also be without some key players for Sunday’s game with defenders Luisinho and Ruben Semedo both sidelined through injury. 


Predicted Lineups

?SD Huesca ?Jovanovic; Miramon, Pulido, Etxeita, Akapo; Gomez, Musto; Gallar, Rivera, Ferreiro; Hernandez
?Real Madrid  ?Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Ceballos, Llorente; Vazquez, Benzema, Bale

Head to Head Record 

Sunday’s game will be the first time in history that these two sides have met in a competitive fixture, with the reason being Huesca had never resided in the Spanish top tier until this season. On the other hand, Los Blancos have featured in the competition every single year since its inception in 1929.

The game will take place at Estadio El Alcoraz in Huesca which has a capacity of just 7,800 – quite a contrast to the 80,000+ fans Madrid are used to working in front of at home. 

SD Huesca v FC Girona - La Liga


Recent Form

??Real Madrid’s season continues to be defined by inconsistency and Los Blancos currently reside in fifth place in La Liga. Solari’s side have won eight of their last ten in all competitions, however intertwined with this impressive run of wins were two embarrassing defeats to Barcelona and Eibar.

Real Madrid vs Melilla - Copa del Rey - Fourth Round

Coincidentally, Eibar are the only team Huesca have beaten in the league this season, doing so in the curtain-raiser back in August. However, since that opening game, Huesca have played the role of the small fish in an exceptionally large pond. They have drawn four and lost the other nine, meaning the Spanish minnows are rock bottom with just seven points.

Both sides go into this one having played in the Copa del Rey just three days prior, with the two sides registering very contrasting results.

Here’s how each team performed in their last five fixtures.

?SD Huesca Real Madrid
Huesca 0-4 Atheltic Bilbao? (06/12) ?Real Madrid 6-1 Melilla (06/12)
?Celta Vigo 2-0 Huesca (01/12) ?Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia (01/12)
?Athletic Bilbao 4-0 Huesca (28/11) ?Roma 0-2 Real Madrid (27/11)
?Huesca 2-2 Levante (24/11) ?Eibar 3-0 Real Madrid (24/11)
?Alaves 2-1 Huesca (11/11) ?Celta Vigo 2-4 Real Madrid (11/11)

Prediction

?Anything but a comfortable win for Real Madrid would send shock-waves around the footballing world. They are a team desperate to instil some consistency into this uncharacteristically shoddy campaign. An iota of encouragement for Huesca is the fact only one team has conceded more goals on the road in La Liga than Real Madrid this season. That team? Huesca. Maybe not, then.

Atletico Madrid v SD Huesca - La Liga Santander

Prediction: Huesca 0-4 Real Madrid

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Vinicius Junior Hypes Up Rodrygo as Real Madrid’s Incoming Starlet Attends Copa Thrashing

?Vinícius Júnior has got Real Madrid fans excited over the prospect of seeing incoming Los Blancos signing and fellow Brazilian national Rodrygo in action next season.

Vinícius has begun to justify his own €45m transfer fee, offering a promising glimpse of exactly why he was signed from Flamengo last summer as he scored in Real’s Copa Del Rey win over Melilla on Thursday. However, his celebrations were in danger of being overshadowed by the sight of his fellow countryman Rodrygo sitting in the director’s box with club chairman Florentino Perez.

Independiente v Santos - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018

Madrid have agreed a deal with Santos for the exciting young winger, and although there was ?speculation his move might be brought forward to January, the 17 year old is now ?expected to join up with his new teammates in July as originally planned. 

Having provided eight goals and three assists in the Brazilian Série A last season, and one goal in the Copa Libertadores, the Spanish heavyweights have seen enough to give Rodrygo the opportunity to shine on one of world football’s biggest stages.

Vinícius, who has found opportunities with the senior team limited so far this season, was quick to praise the signing of his compatriot and get Real’s fans excited for the future.

“I’ve played with him in the national team and I’m glad he’s here,” he said after Real Madrid’s 6-1 win over Melilla, as quoted by Marca. “He’s a great player who scores goals. I’m sure he’s very happy to be here.”

Real Madrid vs Melilla - Copa del Rey - Fourth Round

Vinícius capped off a fine performance by netting in the 75th minute, as ?Real cruised to the 6-1 victory, and celebrated with a typically flamboyant south American dance move.

“In Brazil, we’re like that,” he explained, when asked about his celebration.

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