Alaves vs Real Madrid: Match preview

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Real Madrid cruised to a comfortable victory against Villareal on the weekend and gained much-needed three points in order to stay in the hunt for the title. They now travel to the Basque Country to take on Alaves, in what is to be their last match of the year.

Match details

Date: Thursday, 21st December 2023
Competition: La Liga
Matchday: 18
Time: 22:30 CEST
Venue: Estadio de Mendizorroza

Match preview

Los Blancos take on 15th-placed Alaves in the midweek fixture, following a 4-1 thumping of Villareal at the Bernabeu. Luka Modric was in sublime form as he scored as well as provided an assist for Bellingham’s goal.

Real Madrid did climb to the top of the table after the victory – for a while though – as Girona comfortably went past Alaves with a 3-0 scoreline. The Catalan club continues to impress everyone and regained their lead to the top as the difference between both clubs remains at 2 points.

The goal-scoring woes of Alaves were visible in this match against Girona. The Basque club has only scored 14 goals in the league – joint least with Mallorca and Cadiz. Even the relegation teams have more goals and this says a lot about their ineffectiveness in front of goal.

Defensively as well, Alaves will have their task cut out as they come up against an inform Madrid attack who have scored 38 goals in the league with Brahim, Rodrygo, and Joselu firing along with Jude Bellingham.

The Merengues travel to Mendizorroza with just Nacho and Rudiger as their centre-back options with Tchouameni being the potential backup. Carlo Ancelotti in the pre-match conference pressed upon this matter and said, “Tchouameni at CB? He doesn’t like to play there just like Camavinga doesn’t like to play LB but he will play there if necessary.”

It remains to be seen whether Tchouameni will start as a centre-back but expectedly it will be Nacho and Rudiger. The Italian manager announced that Kepa will start in goal.

Ferland Mendy is also out of this fixture as he was substituted at half-time against Villarreal and Fran Garcia will take his place, with Lucas Vazquez being the right-back.

Tchouameni, however, may start in the midfield alongside Fede Valverde – who’s arguably been the most underrated player this season – and either of Toni Kroos or Luka Modric. It will be a headache for Ancelotti to choose from as all midfielders except Camavinga are fit for this fixture.

Jude Bellingham netted his 17th goal of the season in 20 games and remains the top scorer of La Liga. In those 20 games, the Englishman has been the man of the match in 11, which talks about his impact so far. He’s expected to step onto the pitch and add to his goal-scoring tally.

The forward line will be the same as it was for the last match with Brahim Diaz and Rodrygo up front as they will look to extend their purple patch. The Spanish youngster has clearly won the fans and the manager over, especially after the magnificent solo goal he scored over the weekend.

Another crucial fixture for the Merengues and they will look to secure another victory as the title race continues to heat up with Girona not giving up easily and still with a two-point lead at the top. Moreover, the men in white would look to end 2023 on a high.

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