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Real Madrid take shelter in the Santiago Bernabéu

Due to a quirk of the scheduling, Los Blancos will play 10 of the next 11 league games without leaving the Madrid region.

Antonio Villar
Real Madrid, celebrating a goal in Cornellá.

The start of the season has been outstanding for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, as early away trips have seen a collection of victories: Almería (1-2), Celta (1-4) and Espanyol (1-3). After climbing the first Tourmalet of the season with the trio of games away from the still-under-construction Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid face a run of games ahead of the World Cup break with a favorable schedule that provides them with the perfect chance to leave LaLiga title ambitions on track. Los Blancos will play 10 of the next 11 league games on Madrid soil and will only travel to Elche on matchday 10.

Home comforts for Real Madrid

They always say that a return home after the summer is special, and the capital club does just that on Saturday when the players will run out at the new Bernabéu to face Betis for matchday four. It will be the first game of seven (in LaLiga) that will be played at their home stadium before the World Cup break: Betis, Mallorca, Osasuna, Barça, Seville, Girona and Cádiz.

The remaining four will be away from home but, other than the trip to Elche in October, they will all be in the region (Communidad) of Madrid. They will visit the Metropolitano to face Atlético, the Coliseum against Getafe and they will go to Vallecas to play against Rayo. So 10 of the 11 league games will be played on Madrid soil.

In related news: how Real Madrid and rivals could be impacted by 2022 World Cup

That said, midweek travel is still on the cards for Los Blancos who are aiming to retain their Champions League title. The six group matches will be distributed across the months of September, October and the first week of November (meaning a total of 18 matches until the start of the World Cup). Trips to Leipzig, Celtic and Shakhtar will see planes boarded on the long road towards a potential 15th European crown.

Real Madrid pre-World Cup fixtures

  • Real Madrid-Betis (3/4 Sept)
  • Real Madrid-Mallorca (10/11 Sept)
  • Atlético Madrid-Real Madrid (17/18 Sept)
  • Real Madrid-Osasuna (1/2 Oct)
  • Getafe-Real Madrid (8/9 Oct)
  • Real Madrid-Barcelona (15/16 Oct)
  • Elche-Real Madrid (18/19 Oct)
  • Real Madrid-Sevilla (22/23 Oct)
  • Real Madrid-Girona (29/30 Oct)
  • Rayo-Real Madrid (5/6 Nov)
  • Real Madrid-Cádiz (8/9 Nov)

The strategy to protect yourself from the potential ravages of this World Cup is to collect as many points as possible until the break. Last season, after playing the first 14 games, Madrid was ahead of the pack with a four point lead over Atlético, five over Sevilla and ten over Barça.

The road to LaLiga 36 has a clear roadmap for Ancelotti and his men...