Elche – Real Madrid preview: Ronaldo meets favourite rivals

Elche – Real Madrid preview: Ronaldo meets favourite rivals


Real Madrid will look to make it three victories in a row after a wobbly start to 2015. Los Blancos are still on top of the table with a one-point lead over Barcelona, but they cannot afford any more slip-ups.

Carlo Ancelotti men were in a delicate situation after their 4-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid at the derby, but two victories against Deportivo de La Coruna and Schalke 04 seem to have put them back on track.

Elche seems like a good place to extend their winning run, as Los Merengues haven’t lost there since 1978. Furthermore, Cristiano Ronaldo has always put in superb performances against them. He has scored six goals in two appearances against the Southern Spain side.

Ancelotti major doubt for the match is Daniel Carvajal, who suffered a wound in his leg against Schalke. If the wound heals on time, he will feature against Elche. Otherwise Alvaro Arbeloa will start at right-back.

Fabio Coentrao is also a doubt with muscle problems, so it seems like Marcelo will not rest after the Champions League clash. Pepe and Raphael Varane will be the centre-back pair.

Los Merengues are still missing Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez, Sami Khedira and Luka Modric, so Ancelotti will have to decide who to line-up alongside Toni Kroos and Isco in midfield. After his performance in Germany, Lucas Silva is expected to make it in the starting line-up.

Meanwhile, Elche will only miss midfielder Pedro Mosquera due to injury. Fran Escriba men are in great shape, having won their last two league games, and they are confident of savaging some points against the leaders.

Possible line-ups:

Elche: Tyton; Suarez, Lomban, Roco, Albacar; Fajr, Adrian Gonzalez, Pasalic, Niguez: Victor Rodriguez, Jonathas.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Bale, Kroos, Silva, Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo.