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Played
February 22, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ Eduardo Prieto‎
Attendance:‬ 73254‎
 
 
72′ Gareth Bale
 
81′ Isco
 

Real Madrid-Elche Preview: Los Blancos look to steal a march on Barcelona and Atletico

Cristiano Ronaldo serves the final game of his three-match suspension as Carlo Ancelotti's men go in search of a 15th consecutive home win in all competitions

JESE RODRIGUEZ GETAFE REAL MADRID LA LIGA 02162014
EPA

Real Madrid will move top of La Liga for at least a few hours if they extend their unbeaten run to 26 matches against Elche on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are locked on 60 points alongside Barcelona and Atletico at the summit of the Spanish top flight, but sit second behind the Catalan club by virtue of their inferior goal difference.

Madrid play before either of their great rivals this weekend, though, with Barca visiting Real Sociedad later on Saturday and Atleti travelling to Osasuna on Sunday, meaning they require just a point at home to Fran Escriba's men to take top spot.

However, the capital club's imperious form of late - they have not lost a game since their 2-1 Liga reverse at Camp Nou in October - suggests that they will pick up a 15th consecutive home victory in all competitions.

Indeed, the only team to avoid defeat in 18 matches at the Bernabeu in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey this term are Atleti, who came away with a 1-0 league win in September.

Elche can take some heart from the fact Cristiano Ronaldo will be absent this weekend, with the Portugal star serving the last of his three-game ban after his sending off at Athletic Bilbao earlier in the month.

Ronaldo netted twice in Madrid's 2-1 victory at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero in September - including a controversial 96th-minute winning penalty - and is La Liga's top scorer this season, with 22 goals in 21 appearances.

Los Blancos have seemingly not missed the former Manchester United man, however, as they have put seven goals past Villarreal and Getafe in the two Liga games since his dismissal at San Mames.

Jese Rodriguez has replaced Ronaldo on the left and has also filled the Portuguese's boots capably, with a goal in each of his last three games.

A 3-0 win at Getafe last time out took Ancelotti's men to 101 goals in 38 games in all competitions this term and, given Elche's poor record on the road, that total looks set to grow this weekend.

Escriba's team, who sit 13th in the table, have won just two of their 11 away Liga matches this season, conceding 23 goals in the process.



Field Report
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Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 22, 2014 Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Sep 25, 2013 Elche 1 - Real Madrid CF 2
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Real Madrid £10.70 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Draw £100.00 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Elche £290.00 Bet365 Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200
Team News
Available Squads
25Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
3PepeDefender
15Daniel CarvajalDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
9Karim BenzemaStriker
20Jesé RodríguezStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
4Sergio RamosDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
18Nacho FernándezDefender
16CasemiroMidfielder
23IscoMidfielder
21MorataStriker
1Manu HerreraGoalkeeper
3BotíaDefender
4LombánDefender
21AlbácarDefender
23Domingo CismaDefender
5RiveraMidfielder
6Rubén PérezMidfielder
17Javi MárquezMidfielder
11CoroStriker
14Manu Del MoralStriker
15Carles GilStriker
31Jose ÁlvarezGoalkeeper
18PelegrínDefender
7AarónStriker
8MantecónMidfielder
16FidelMidfielder
9R. BoakyeStriker
28Cristian HerreraStriker
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
25 4
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0