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Primera División

  • March 24, 2012
  • • 19:00
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
  • • Attendance: 76000
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Real Madrid - Real Sociedad Preview: Los Blancos look to stop the rot against Philippe Montanier's side

Real Madrid - Real Sociedad Preview: Los Blancos look to stop the rot against Philippe Montanier's side

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After dropping four points in the space of four days, the league leaders aim to bounce back against the Basque outfit at the Santiago Bernabeu without the suspended Jose Mourinho


PROBABLE LINEUPS

REAL MADRID

Casillas
Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo
Khedira, Alonso
Callejon, Kaka, Ronaldo
Benzema
REAL SOCIEDAD

Bravo
Cadamuro, Gonzalez, I. Martinez, De la Bella
Illarramendi, Aranburu
Prieto, Zurutuza, Griezmann
Vela

Pepe and Mesut Ozil are suspended for Real Madrid's Primera Division encounter with Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Saturday, but Sergio Ramos has been given a reprieve and will play on Saturday.

Ozil and Ramos were dismissed in the ill-tempered 1-1 draw at Villarreal along with boss Jose Mourinho, who serves a touchline ban.

Pepe has been handed a two-match suspension after he insulted the referee in the tunnel after the match at El Madrigal and the Portugal defender will miss out on Saturday, but Ramos was given a reprieve on Friday as his red card was reduced to a yellow.

With Ricardo Carvalho struggling to recover from a thigh problem, Raphael Varane looks set to start in central defence in place of Pepe.

Fabio Coentrao is likely to be involved after being omitted against Villarreal, while Angel Di Maria (thigh) is still sidelined.

Carlos Martinez and Markel Bergara are out injured for Real Sociedad, who look to recover from Wednesday's 3-1 home defeat to Levante.

Gorka Elustondo misses out after his red card against Levante, as does Dani Estrada, who received his fifth yellow card of the season in the same match.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Real Madrid's 1-1 draw at Villarreal was the first time they had dropped points away from home since a goalless stalemate at Racing Santander in September.
  • The Castilian side have won their last six encounters against Real Sociedad.
  • Karim Benzema (pictured right) has scored 60 goals in all competitions since joining Madrid, nine more than the club's next highest French-born goalscorer, Zinedine Zidane.
  • Real Sociedad have lost six of their last ten matches in La Liga.
  • The Basque outfit are on a four-game losing streak away from home.
  • Sociedad's last victory at the Santiago Bernabeu came in May 2004.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
4Sergio RamosDefender
12MarceloDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
8KakáMidfielder
9Karim BenzemaStriker
9Gonzalo HiguaínStriker
1AdànGoalkeeper
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
33Raúl Albiol Defender
18Nuri SahinMidfielder
25Esteban GraneroMidfielder
4Hamit AltıntopMidfielder
20Jesé RodríguezStriker
1Claudio BravoGoalkeeper
3Mikel González MartínezDefender
6Íñigo MartínezDefender
11Vadim DemidovDefender
19CadamuroDefender
24Alberto De la Bella Defender
10Xabi PrietoMidfielder
11Mikel Aranburu EizagirreMidfielder
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
7Antoine GriezmannStriker
9Imanol AgirretxeStriker
-ToñoGoalkeeper
15Jon AnsoteguiDefender
17Zurutuza Midfielder
14Rubén PardoMidfielder
9Joseba LlorenteStriker
21Diego IfránStriker
11Carlos VelaStriker
Players to Watch
C. Ronaldo
C. Ronaldo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
30 31 4 1
The Portuguese forward was one of the few Madrid players to come out of the trip to Villarreal with any credit, with most of his team-mates losing their discipline after Marcos Senna's late equaliser. With their swashbuckling style of early season seemingly abandoning them, Los Merengues desperately need the former Manchester United ace to keep banging in the goals as they look to clinch their first La Liga title in four years.
Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
35 16 5 0
Montanier will be glad to have the young Frenchman back after he missed the defeat against Levante through suspension. With his quick acceleration and dribbling skills, the 21-year-old provides Sociedad plenty of width and penetration down the left flank.
Prediction
Back-to-back 1-1 draws for Madrid has blown the Liga title race wide open and Barcelona will be smelling blood after seeing the way Mourinho's side lost their composure at Villarreal. Los Blancos have looked a little heavy-legged in recent weeks, but they should put Sociedad to the sword to preserve what is still a sizable lead over their arch-rivals.
Editor's Prediction

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