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Primera División

  • December 12, 2010
  • • 18:00
  • • Estadio de la Romareda, Zaragoza
  • Referee: Rafael Ramírez Domínguez
  • • Attendance: 33000
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La Liga Previews: Zaragoza - Real Madrid

La Liga Previews: Zaragoza - Real Madrid

Los Blancos will go temporarily top if they can overcome los Manos...

Tough Game

Bottom of the table Zaragoza have struggled for form dreadfully since the start of the campaign and seem destined to spend a disappointing Christmas period in the relegation zone. A visit from Real Madrid on Sunday evening will be an unwelcome experience for los Manos, who are a side who need points quickly.

With one win all season, the Aragon outfit have flopped dramatically given their strong conclusion to last term, which was exactly what got them out of the kind of predicament they currently find themselves in. Already coach Jose Aurelio Gay has been given his marching orders to be replaced by Javier Aguirre, who is perhaps best known for his stint at the helm of Atletico Madrid.

There has been no instant remedy for the side from La Romareda, who were unable to overcome fellow strugglers Almeria last weekend. A 1-1 draw was no disaster, but it was a match that los Manos could really have done with winning. “It was the best outcome for our rivals,” Aguirre commented.

Looking forward to Sunday’s clash, Diogo appreciates the scale of the task at hand. “It’s a pretty tough game to play at any time,” he told Marca, aware of the particularly difficult circumstances Zaragoza presently find. “The team does not give up and the attitude is the best. When you face a great team you always want to do well.”

If los Manos take anything from this fixture, it will be an unexpected bonus.

No Errors


Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side have barely broke stride after falling flat on their face in El Clasico, ploughing on with win after win after coming spectacularly undone against Barcelona. Importantly, they’ve sent a message to any doubters that their mentality is strong, and los Blancos will again be out to showcase their power in Zaragoza.

Midweek success over Auxerre in the Champions League came easily. The French side had no reply to the pace and power of los Blancos, who eased to a 4-0 victory, which came thanks to a fine hat-trick from Karim Benzema.

“This was the group that drew the most attention after the draw, but the team played well in every match and it appeared to be an easy group,” assistant boss Aitor Karanka explained to his side’s official website. “That isn't the case, however. Auxerre, for example, gave us trouble in the first leg.”

But Madrid are certainly not looking to the past, plotting their future carefully so as best to compete with Barca. They have a staggering nine matches planned in a hectic January period, which is sure to test the squad’s physical capabilities, so it is vital that they don’t slip in what would appear to be a routine fixture.

Playing with some confidence, despite the set-back of a fortnight ago, it’s difficult to see the free-scoring Blancos coming a cropper in Aragon.


TEAM NEWS

Zaragoza


Javier Aguirre has been tempted to ring the changes in his defence, with Matteo Contini and Ivan Obradovic dropping out. He has no major injury problems to cope with though.

Real Madrid

There has been good news for los Blancos as Angel di Maria is back training with the main squad, but a host of problems remain for Jose Mourinho. Jerzy Dudek, Sami Khedira, who is banned in any case, Sergio Canales, Gonzalo Higuain, Fernando Gago and Kaka are all carrying various problems.

Players to watch

Edmilson

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Veteran Brazilian midfielder Edmilson has been an ever present in Aguirre’s set-up since the Mexican coach took over nearly a month ago. In the centre of the field he’ll have a vital role to play as he will have to stop the chain of supply to the Madrid front players. If this can be achieved with any regularity then Zaragoza stand a chance, but the 34-year-old’s task looks tough.

K. Benzema

Position: Attacker

Games: 11

  • 4
  • 0
  • 0
Karim Benzema has to be the one to watch after his superb hat-trick against Auxerre in midweek. The Frenchman hasn’t always looked settled with Real Madrid, but he’s slowly starting to come into his own now, displaying great technical skill to lob Olivier Sorin to score his side’s third goal in midweek. He’s still not scoring the volume of goals that the Bernabeu demands, but perhaps Wednesday will kick-start him into action.

Editor's Prediction

There can be little doubt that Real Madrid will win this fixture. Jose Mourinho’s sides may have been stifled earlier in the season, but they’re simply playing too well to allow struggling Zaragoza to thwart them.

Think you know the score? Visit William Hill to bet on this match now.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Real Zaragoza

Real Madrid

Wins
1
1
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Real Zaragoza ZAR
Real Zaragoza Real Zaragoza
Draw
Real Madrid CF RMA
Real Madrid CF Real Madrid
22%
74%

Top 3 Predictions

Real Zaragoza ZAR
0 - 4
Real Madrid CF RMA
Real Zaragoza ZAR
0 - 3
Real Madrid CF RMA
Real Zaragoza ZAR
2 - 0
Real Madrid CF RMA

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