The Los Blancos struggled to figure themselves out in 2020/21. Real were consistently just alright the previous season. They rose to second in-game week 15 and therefore all. They were good, but just not good enough.
The previous season had an uncomfortable start, which included a 1-0 loss to Cadiz, a 4-1 defeat to Valencia and a 2-1 reverse to Alaves whom they’ll face in the opener.
Coming with 0 trophies and about 100 questions that need answering, Real has a tough season ahead with the veteran manager, Ancelotti. The departure of Ramos and Varane in the same transfer window will leave as big a void as Cristiano Ronaldo and David Alaba, Nacho and Militao have BIG shoes to fill.
While on the other hand, Alaves have stayed up, even when it looked for a while they wouldn’t. The decision to bring Javi Calleja with nine rounds to go was key.
Calleja didn’t change much tactically, other than bringing Lucas Perez back into the side, but Calleja’s arrival provided an emotional and motivational boost, with Alaves benefitting from a new manager bounce.
Alaves won four, draw three, and lost two of the nine matches Calleja oversaw, which was enough to move out of the relegation zone
El Glorioso has strengthened well in the transfer market bringing in the likes of Ivan Martin, Manu Garcia, Florian Lejeune. However, they will have a tough task against the Los Blancos on Saturday.
Madrid had a terrible pre-season campaign, having not won either of their friendlies. Adding to that Tony Kroos has been ruled out for 2 months due to an injury which means Valverde and Isco will get more minutes on the field. The weakened defensive backline needs to get a boost with the arrival of David Alaba. Bale and Hazard will need to answer all questions regarding their fitness and provide support to the talisman Karim Benzema, who has been regularly on the scoresheet.
This game will be Carlo Ancelotti’s first game back in charge of Real Madrid, and the Italian will look to start his second campaign with a win.
Both sides will want to start their 2021-22 campaign off with a win, with Real Madrid looking to challenge for the La-Liga title once again this season. While Alaves will more than happy if they get that 1 point also.
Alaves Predicted XI (4-4-2) – Fernando Pacheco, Ruben Duarte, Florian Lejeune, Victor Laguardia, Martin, Luis Rioja, Pere Pons, Tomas Pina, Evan Martin, Lucas Perez, Joselu
Real Madrid Predicted XI (4-4-3) – Thibaut Coutois, Nacho, Militao, Alaba, Odriozola, Modric, Isco, Casemiro, Hazard, Benzema, Bale
It’s hard not to see Real Madrid winning this game, given the difference in quality between the two sides. However, Alaves will be looking for an upset and making it difficult for Carlo Ancelotti’s team.