Real Madrid begin a new era without the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo when they face Getafe at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Sunday’s opening La Liga encounter.
Date: 19 August 2018
Kick-off: 20:00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Referee: Javier Estrada
Assistants: Javier Aguilar, José Matías
Fourth official: Josep Subirats
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Real Madrid 26 19 2 5
Getafe 26 5 2 19
Real Madrid 3-1 Getafe (La Liga)
Real Madrid goalscorers: G. Bale (24′), Cristiano Ronaldo (45’+1) (78′),
Getafe scorer: Portillo (65′)
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 17, 2018
Players to watch:
Gareth Bale’s performance may fall under the spotlight as he steps into the boots of the now departed Ronaldo. The Wales star has lived in the shadow of Real’s all-time leading scorer during their time together, and now has a chance to prove his worth as the main man in attack.
Ángel has proved his worth as a regular source of goals for Azulones and he performed last season with 13 league goals in 33 appearances for the Spanish outfit. With the prospect of facing the UEFA Champions League winners, the forward has extra motivation to deliver the goods.
Team form and manager quotes:
Real come into the contest on the back of a 4-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup. It was the first time the Spanish giants have conceded four goals in a game since Zinedine Zidane took the reins in January 2016.
As such, Zidane’s replacement Julen Lopetegui insists that there must be improvement in all departments in 2018/19. He told reporters: “We have to improve in all facets, we do not like when we make mistakes and we have to improve in everything, not only in individual errors.
“(It is a) feeling of frustration and sadness. But knowing that responsibility forces us to get up and try to improve and start the league as we want to start.”
Meanwhile, Getafe finished a creditable eighth last season and the side had a solid blend of defence and attack. The outfit from the Madrid metropolitan area scored 42 goals and conceded 33 times.
With that said, Real are huge favourites at home in this contest. Nonetheless, manager José Bordalás is in a bullish mood insisting that the absence of Ronaldo hurts Spanish football.
He said: “I’m not happy with the departure of Cristiano…the great players. I want them to be in La Liga, it is the best together (including) Leo Messi.”
— Getafe C.F. (@GetafeCF) August 16, 2018
Real Madrid are expected to have largely a fully fit squad to choose from though Jesús Vallejo and Álvaro Odriozola are in doubt with injury concerns. New signing from Chelsea, Thibaut Courtois is available to compete for the starting role with Keylor Navas.
For the visitors, defensive midfielder Markel Bergara is not available due to injury though Nemanja Maksimovic and Mauro Arambarri may feature.