Real Madrid vs Alaves: Zidane looks for fifth successive win to close gap on rivals AtleticoFebruary 23, 2018
Having taken maximum points from their game in hand against Leganes on Wednesday, Real Madrid now cast their plans onto Saturday’s clash against Alaves as they look to close the seven point gap on second place rivals Atletico Madrid.
While Los Blancos have to rely on Diego Simone’s side to slip up, they can take great confidence from their recent form.
They head into Saturday’s clash off the back of four successive wins and with the opportunity of making it five, Zidane is expected to field a full strength side.
Cristiano Ronaldo who has scored 10 in his last six and missed the 3-1 victory over Leganes is likely to return, while centre-back Sergio Ramos misses through suspension.
Ramos received a yellow card last time out and broke the record set by ex Deportivo defender Alberto Lupo for most bookings ever (163).
Gareth Bale who only made the bench against Leganes is also set to start and with Lucas Vazquez impressing against Leganes, he may feel hard done by.
The winger provided a goal and assist on Wednesday taking his overall goal-scoring tally to eight for the season.
Theo Hernandez is expected to stay at left-back following Marcelo’s injury problem and playmaker Luka Modric is still absent with a hamstring concern.
For Alaves, they travel to the Bernabeu also in good stead. Having won their last three LaLiga games, head coach Abelardo Fernandez will believe his side can more than match the array of talents Zidane has at his disposal.
Although Alaves have not beaten Real Madrid in their last eight meetings in all competitions and are yet to concede less than three goals in their last five visits to the Bernabeu.
They will also be without top goalscorer Munir who misses through suspension meaning that Ruben Sobrino should partner John Guidetti up top.
Real Madrid: Navas, Hernandez, Varane, Nacho, Carvajal, Isco, Casemiro, Kovacic, Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Alaves: Pacheco, Ruano, Ely, Laguardia, Duarte, Gomez, Garcia, Pina, Pednaza, Guidetti, Sobrino