The leaders of La Liga, Real Madrid, will face a significant challenge this Saturday evening as they host Girona, the team just below them in the standings, at Bernabeu.
Real Madrid tops the league with 58 points from 23 games, leading Spain’s premier division, while Girona, the unexpected contender, trails by only two points before this match.
Real Madrid has been outstanding in the league this year, winning 18, drawing four, and losing just one out of 23 games, amassing 58 points to stay at the top.
With an eight-point lead over Barcelona and ten points ahead of Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid viewed these teams as their main competitors at the season’s start. However, Girona has emerged as a strong challenger, having an exceptional season.
Girona’s only loss so far was against Real Madrid on September 30, and since then, Ancelotti’s team hasn’t lost in the league, maintaining their form since a defeat to Atletico Madrid on September 24.
Real Madrid almost clinched a significant win against Atletico last weekend, leading until the 93rd minute when Atletico equalized due to a defensive lapse.
Having won the Spanish Super Cup already, Real Madrid aims for success in the Champions League, with a forthcoming match against RB Leipzig. Despite this, they cannot overlook the league and aim for a victory against Girona this Saturday.
Girona, having lost 3-0 in their previous encounter this season but defeating Real Madrid 4-2 at home last year, remains competitive. Despite expectations of a decline, Girona has kept up with Real Madrid throughout the season.
After a recent draw with Real Sociedad and ahead of significant upcoming matches, Girona focuses solely on the league following their Copa del Rey exit.
Achieving Champions League football next season would mark a historic accomplishment for Girona, currently in their fourth top-level season.
Real Madrid La Liga form: W W W W W D
Real Madrid form (all competitions): W L W W W D
Girona La Liga form: D W D W W D
Girona form (all competitions): D W W L W D
Real Madrid awaits the return of Antonio Rudiger and Vinicius Junior, with Rudiger missing the last game and Vinicius pulling out due to neck pain.
Both are likely to join the squad, with Tchouameni returning from suspension and potentially playing as center-back.
On the other hand, Girona faces suspensions and injuries but expects Artem Dovbyk, their top scorer, to be fit for the game.
Possible Starting Lineups
Carvajal, Rudiger, Tchouameni, Mendy;
Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga;
Couto, E Garcia, A Martinez, Gutierrez;
Torre, A Garcia, Martin;
Tsyhankov, Dovbyk, Savio
Prediction: Real Madrid 2-1 Girona
This match promises to be intriguing, with the two top teams of La Liga facing off. While Girona might be content with a draw, Real Madrid’s quality could lead them to a close victory in this capital showdown.