We hope you’ve slept off your Christmas food comas because La Liga is serving us a treat when Real Madrid travel to unlikely top four contenders Getafe on Saturday.
Los Blancos visit Coliseum Alfonso Perez just two points off their title rivals Barcelona, knowing a win could take them top of the table.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s side have their work cut out against Getafe, who surprised many in qualifying for the Europa League last year and look capable of going one step further this time around.
We’re sure the Frenchman is a busy guy, so ahead of this vital fixture we’ve taken a look at who he should be playing if he wants to secure a crucial three points.
Goalkeepers & Defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – It’s fair to say that Courtois hasn’t found his best form since his move to Real Madrid from Chelsea last summer. But after making his first save of 2020 at a basketball game in Miami over the Christmas break, he’ll be hoping the new year can offer him a chance to revitalise his career at the Bernabeu.
Dani Carvajal (RB) – Given how long Carvajal has been performing at the highest level, it’s hard to believe he’s only 27. The Spaniard ended 2019 with perhaps the greatest honour of all when he was named in 90min’s Real team of the decade, and has missed only three league games this season.
Raphael Varane (CB) – After admitting that ”a draw for Madrid is catastrophic”, Varane will understandably be desperate to secure the win come Saturday. The Frenchman has largely maintained his high standards as others around him have began to slip in recent times, and his winning mentality could be vital as Real look to end a run of three draws.
Nacho (CB) – With Sergio Ramos suspended it falls upon jack of all trades Nacho to come into the Blancos defence. The Spaniard is reliable and can play anywhere across the defence. That’s it, just a serious piece of analysis on the ultimate squad player, no cheesy name puns here…
Ferland Mendy (LB) – Like many of Real’s summer signings Mendy has had a slow start to life at the Bernabeu, making just eight starts so far. In all fairness, he has been tasked with displacing arguably the best left back in a generation in Marcelo. The Brazilian did train with the first team on Monday, but after a lengthy injury absence Mendy is a safe back up.
Casemiro (CDM) – After serving a domestic ban Brazilian midfielder Casemiro is back available for Real Madrid on Saturday. His return could not come soon enough for a Blancos side that are winless in their last three La Liga games.
Federico Valverde (CM) – Valverde’s form has been so good this season that Casemiro predicted that within two years the little Uruguayan will be one of the best playmakers in the world. He has been a breath of fresh air into a Real midfield that was in serious danger of going stale, and fully deserves his starting place.
Toni Kroos (CM) – Despite being written off along with many of his Real Madrid teammates after a below par season last time out, Kroos has begun to lead the second Blancos revolution under Zidane. Regardless of rumours linking Paul Pogba with a move to the Bernabeu, you can expect to see Kroos running the Real midfield for years to come.
Rodrygo (RW) – A Brazilian teenager signed from Santos for big money by a legendary La Liga club. Sound familiar? Rodrygo has certainly been living up to the obvious Neymar comparisons, and with the potential the 18-year-old has already shown this season, you’d back him to one day reach the level of his compatriot.
Karim Benzema (ST) – After the big money signing of Luka Jovic in the summer there were fears that this could be the beginning of the end of Benzema‘s Real Madrid career. But Zidane has stuck with his fellow countryman, and after 16 goals in 23 games so far this campaign it’s fair to say his loyalty is being repaid.
Vinicius Junior (LW) – Another on Real Madrid’s supremely talented roster of youngsters, Vinicius Junior looks set to start after injuries to Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. He may have fallen down the pecking order slightly after Rodrygo’s fabulous start, but he’ll be hoping to prove why he’s the one the Bernabeu faithful should be excited about.