Cristiano after goals, Bale fitness and Quique Setién the points
Real Madrid travel to play Las Palmas who are at their strongest this season, is a surprise on the cards for Zinedine Zidane?
47 years ago with 17 players from the Canaries and two Basque goalkeepers, Las Palmas came second in La Liga behind Real Madrid and ahead of Barcelona. They spent 19 consecutive seasons in La Primera, but times have changed and Real Madrid haven't played against los canarios since 2001 at Insular; when Zidane score twice in a 4-2 away win, including this golazo:
That condemned Las Palmas to the Segunda Division. Los blancos will play at the Estadio de Gran Canaria for the first time today.
While many things have changed, the Islanders have 15 academy players in their squad and a manager in Setien who has a clear idea of the way he wants to play. Only Barcelona have had more possession this year, and with the team on 30 points in 15th, there's plenty to play for.
Las Palmas gave Barça a real fright on their last visit, and might just have the right tools to do damage to Zidane's somewhat disorganised setup.
Setien is missing Tana, but Roque Mesa and Willian José are back available for La Palmas, whose entire squad that cost less than Mateo Kovacic (€30M).
Real Madrid hope that Bale can get back into his rhythm without suffering yet another relapse, with increasing scrutiny on the backroom medical staff.
Zidane is out to shake the tree a little; Lucas Vazquez should reap rewards for recent good showings patience, and five assists already this season.
James, Kroos and Danilo stayed behind, with Zidane focusing on the Champions League, meaning Marcelo and Isco should have their day in the sun, and future promise Borja Mayoral has also travelled with the group.
Cristiano wants to play, but Cristiano always wants to play, and today his excuse is that he's never scored at Gran Canaria, and that Luis Suarez' day off has given him a chance to stretch out his legs in the pichichi race. Mini-goals that keep Madrid's penitential interest alive in La Liga.
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