Real Madrid re-start their turbulent La Liga campaign with Zidane Zidane at the helm for the first time as they host Deportivo La Coruna at Santiago Bernebeu on Saturday, 9th January 2016.
The Los Blancos start match third in the league table with 37 points behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, but failing to win on Saturday may see them drop to fourth as Villarreal are just a point behind them.
Deportivo La Coruna are seventh in the table, but they are coming into the match on the back of a confident draw they earned against Barcelona in the first week of December.
Real Madrid vs Deportivo La Coruna : Team Form Comparison
Under Benitez, Real Madrid failed to find any consistency considering most of the matches in the league are a straight forward walk over for them. Their performance against stronger teams are a big disappointment.
Looking at the last five games, Real Madrid tend to score plenty of goals, but their defense was constantly breached by every opposition. If not the brilliant Keylor Navas was between the goal posts, the results would have been different.
Real Madrid don’t have a clean sheet in five games in a row, one of their worst run under a manger since Jose Mourinho.
Deportivo have just one win in their last five outings, with the three of them being draws. The highlight of this season was the 2-2 draw against Barcelona after trailing by two goals. They will sit deep in with their organized defense and look to counter on Saturday night.
Real Madrid vs Deportivo La Coruna : Head-to-Head Stats
The head-to-head record clearly favors Real Madrid as they are unbeaten in nine league games in a row against Deportivo.
Deportivo have beaten Real just once in their last 30 outings at Bernebeu, which came in October 2004.
Real Madrid : Team News
Mateo Kovacic is suspended after picking up a red card in during Real Madrid’s recent 2-2 draw with Valencia.
Sergio Ramos could be fit to start despite working away from the rest of the group this week and Raphael Varane is expected to partner him at the center of the defense.
Dani Carvajal has not played since Novembe is back from his injury, but he is unlikely to replace Danilo at the right-back.
Deportivo La Coruna : Team News
Celso Borges and Fabricio are injured for Deportivo La Coruna, while Alejandro Arribas, Cani and Fede Cartabia are doubtful. They are expected to field a 4-2-3-1 formation, with the attacking wingers sitting deep to support the full backs.
Real Madrid : Predicted Line-up
Deportivo La Coruna : Predicted Line-up
Real Madrid vs Deportivo La Coruna : Prediction
Zidane face a different music when he sits at the dugout of Bernebeu for the first time. He comes largely as an untested entity at this level and it will be interesting how he cope with the pressure and expectation of leading such a prestigious club.
Deportivo, despite their stature and recent history against Real Madrid, may take the field with some confidence after managing to remain unbeaten against the likes of Barcelona and Sevilla. Moreover they will be keen to take advantage of an unsettled Real Madrid side, who may take some time to find their rhythm under the new manager.
Real Madrid struggled against teams who sit deep in their own half and their defense look shattered with attacks originating at the wings. Goals are expected at both ends, but in case Deportivo manage to score an early goal, they may well win it as it has happened for Real against Villareal.