LaLiga 2018-19: Girona vs Real Madrid - preview, team news, head to head, key players, probable line-up, and prediction
Real Madrid travel to Estadi Montilivi for their first away game of the season against Girona. It will only be the third meeting between these two sides. While Los Blancos kick started their LaLiga campaign with a comfortable yet authoritative 2-0 victory, Blanquivermell were held to a 0-0 draw by Valladolid.
Madrid will be hopeful of back to back wins in the post Cristiano Ronaldo era.
Date: 26 August
Time: 1:45 am (IST) 22:15 pm (local time)
Venue: Estadi Montilivi
Johan Mojica, Jonas Ramalho, and Carles Planas are all sidelined due to injury. Stuani picked up a minor muscular strain, but should lead the lines for Girona.
Luka Modric who came off the bench in the last game due to a post World Cup hangover, should be drafted straight into the starting XI this week.
Girona (4-1-4-1): Bono, Muniesa, Espinosa, Juanpe, Porro, Timor, Borja, Garcia, Granell, Portu, Stuani
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas, Marcelo, Nacho, Ramos, Carvajal, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Bale, Benzema
Head to head
In 2 LaLiga meetings:
Girona wins: 1
Real Madrid wins: 1
For the hosts, 18 year old Pedro Porro is a player to watch out for. The youngster stamped his authority last week at the right wing back position. Porro proved to be a symbol of fearlessness in the side as he went forward with intent, whipped fine crosses into the box, and illustrated great desire to win the ball and track back.
Given Marcelo's high average position, one can expect a few balls into the box from the right side of Girona's attacking shape.
One aspect of Real Madrid's game last weekend in the new Lopetegui system was a compact defensive shape. Unlike the Zidane style of play, the Spanish giants chose organisation over flair. In such a scenario, one player who can circulate the play around him, create chances, and add innovation to proceedings is Isco.
He will arguably be the most crucial player for Madrid's attacking setup.
The visitors will take time to settle as they are still getting used to the new tactics and style of play. However, their individual talents along with the ball carriers of the team are expected to be too good to be stopped.
Predicted score: Girona 0-1 Real Madrid