Deportivo will host Real Madrid in the first match of the 2017/18 LaLiga campaign, and Depor coach Pepe Mel is acutely aware of the challenge his side will face.
Mel appreciates Madrid threat
Speaking after the release of the fixtures, the former Real Betis and West Brom manager was candid:
“It was a possibility and we have to be well prepared. We hope the scenario is completely different to last year [Depor lost 2-6 at Riazor]. Madrid are a very important team, with a lot of variety and options to play in different ways.”
Deportivo start their season against Real Madrid!— AS English (@English_AS) 21 July 2017
'The best team in the world'
“They [Real Madrid] have demonstrated that if you want to win a league, you have to start the season on a firm footing. Madrid select whoever, and it doesn’t make them any worse. That is why they won the league, and we suffered here… we know that we are facing up against the best team in the world.”
Deportivo limped to LaLiga survival last season, and Mel will be hoping for a better showing this campaign. The signing of 18-year-old Fede Valverde on loan from Real Madrid should provide the creative spark that the Branquiazul so often lacked in 2016/17.