Zinedine Zidane's side host The Gunners at the Bernabéu on Saturday looking to boost morale after the midweek defeat at Valencia in Mestalla.
Real Madrid host Eibar at the Santiago Bernabéu on Saturday (kick-off 16:15 CEST) looking to get back on track after defeat at Mestalla in the midweek round of fixtures. On track for what exactly is the issue Zinedine Zidane faces as he attempts to rally his side for a final push in a woeful season for Madrid; one that was already effectively over before the clocks went forward and with the added ignominy of being handed the Monday night fixture next week, the LaLiga equivalent of a school boy being sent to the corner with a D on his cap.
Visiting Eibar are one point off the magical 40-mark, although in all likelihood it will take fewer than that to ensure survival this season with ninth-placed Real Sociedad boasting the same haul. The Gunners have been solid at home in 2018-19 to reach their position of relative safety but have been firing blanks on the road for most of the campaign. A single victory, against Girona in October, punctuates an otherwise gloomy panorama for the visitors, although it is worth nothing Eibar have held Atlético and Sevilla away from home and thrashed Madrid 3-0 in Ipurua earlier this season: They won’t see any need not to take a swing or two at a Real Madrid side who are already down and missing Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Marcelo at the back.
Real Madrid team vs Eibar
Starting XI: Navas; Reguilón, Varane, Nacho, Odriozola; Valverde, Modric, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Asensio.
Subs: Luca, Vallejo, Kroos, Casemiro, Ceballos, Brahim, Vázquez.
Eibar team vs Real Madrid
Starting XI: Dmitrovic; De Blasis, Ramis, Oliveira, Cote; León, Escalante, Jordán, Sergio, Cucurella; Enrich.
Subs: Riesgo, Orellana, Peña, Milla, Cardona, Charles, Kike.
Line Up— SD Eibar English (@SDEibarEN) 6 April 2019
Banquillo: Riesgo, Peña, Marc Cardona, Kike García, Pere Milla, Charles, Orellana#RealMadridEibar pic.twitter.com/ozUSDJNmiS
Real Madrid vs Eibar: injuries and suspensions
Zidane will be forced to field a youthful back four after deciding to rest Sergio Ramos despite the absences of the suspended Marcelo and the recovering Dani Carvajal at the back. Also missing for Madrid will be Vinicius, who is coming back from an ankle injury, Thibaut Courtois, Marcos Llorente and Mariano.
For the visitors the good news is the availability of former Madrid midfielder Pedro León after his return from a foot injury that has kept him out for almost the entire season but José Luis Mendilibar will be without the injured Anaitz Arbilla, while Pedro Bigas is a doubt and Pape Diop is suspended.
Real Madrid vs Eibar: what the managers said
Zinedine Zidane: "They're a side who'll come here to play their game, to play good stuff. They're having a good season and tomorrow will be an occasion they'll be up for. We're expecting a tough game."
José Luis Mendilibar: “The key to our chances of getting something out of the game is to go out and play, create chances and hope that they do not take advantage of theirs. At the end of the day, even if they’re not playing well, they’ll have opportunities to score. They’ll score one or two at home, so you have to score one or two to get points on the board there.”