Real Madrid-Eibar to get the Bernabéu ready for a comeback
Keylor and Modric rested. Eibar hope for a distracted Madrid (16:00 CEST). James and Isco, need redemption. Keko and Bastón, in the shop window.
Whatever happens today, the Bernabeu will be fired up for Wolfsburg come Tuesday, but it would be better for Madrid if the crowd started that feel good factor now, allowing it to spread through the changing room and the club as a whole. Not only for this, but also to add some pressure to league leaders Barça (a win for Madrid reduces the gap to four points ahead of their game in Anoeta). Both games can be followed live on this site. Sitting the game out will defintely be Sergio Ramos, suspended, Benzema and Varane, to allow recovery from knocks, as well as Keylor and Modric, with the intention of having some key players with fresh legs on Tuesday.
Another change likely will be that of Danilo so as not to make him face the Bernabéu judgement. He has played in each of the five games that Madrid have lost and the perception is that he's blocking the way of a youth team player moving up. It's maybe sensible not to give the locals something to moan about at a sensitive time. Nacho and Pepe will start in defence and James and Isco will be given a chance to reconcile themselves with the home faithful. The boy from Malaga hasn't played a full game since 31 January while the Columbian has played just 15 minutes in the last three league matches. It's possible Arbeloa will allow a little rest for Marcelo and Kovacic a chance to redeem himself for the Las Palmas error. Cristiano, on the other hand, seems undroppable. Going for the Golden Boot and time is on his side. Zidane's Madrid are averaging over four goals per game in at home.
Eibar appear to be almost safe, just as last year, they seem to have gotten dizzy at this height in the table, only managing one victory in their last eleven games. It has a lot to do with Bastón, Van Baston in his time as at the Atlético academy, always a step ahead of Morata, but has recently lost sight of where the goal is. Only one in the last seven games, however 17 in a very successful campaign.
Another Atlético youth player, Keko, has been an important cog in the Eibar wheel but has missed several games due to injury. He captained the under-19 Spanish side that included Canales, Muniain, Thiago and Bartra. Since then Keko has passed through eight different teams. Inexplicably, none of them decided to pay the transfer fee for him but he has emerged as an impressive player. Sevilla look to be favourites to sign him up in the summer. Since returning from the injury he has looked less sharp, but he and his team are hoping that Madrid are looking in a different direction.
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