Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gareth Bale set to be rested for Real Madrid's trip to Athletic Bilbao

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has only made five league appearances for Real Madrid this season

Gareth Bale is set to be rested for Real Madrid's trip to Athletic Bilbao on 2 December after the Wales forward picked up a minor knock in the midweek draw with Fuenlabrada.
Spanish daily Marca says Bale felt discomfort in his leg after he came off the bench to create two goals for Borja Mayoral in the 2-2 draw against third-tier club Fuenlabrada in the Copa del Rey.
The paper added that the setback was not serious and that the club expect Bale to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on 6 December.
Bale, 28, has only made five La Liga appearances for Real this season and had not played for the club since September due to a calf problem before he returned in midweek.
He suffered a fresh thigh injury during training on 9 November, with initial reports suggesting that the forward could be sidelined for an additional six weeks.
The Wales international did not train with Real's first-team on 29 November as a precaution.
Along with Bale, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic also returned from injury against Fuenlabrada, with Real coach Zinedine Zidane expressing hope that the trio's return could help them close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona.
"I'm happy for Gareth, Keylor and Mateo because they've been out for a while," Zidane was quoted as saying by Sky Sports after the draw against Fuenlabrada.
"They are important players and to see them ready for the coming games makes you happy."
Club director Emilio Butragueno praised Bale's impact from the bench in the game against Fuenlabrada.
"Bale's cross [for Mayoral's first goal] will stay with me," he was quoted as saying. "It was the play of the game. It gives you an idea of the player that he is. Bale is decisive.
"He's been sidelined for a while and his entry was important for the development of the game. He was at ease and looked really dangerous.
"He has to be fundamental for everything that comes now."

Monday, November 6, 2017

Real Madrid 3-0 Las Palmas: Player Ratings

The defending champions are currently experiencing their worst run of form under Zinedine Zidane. Before today’s game, they found themselves sitting in 4th place, a whopping 11 points behind Barcelona.
After losing two games in the space of a week, Real Madrid responded by putting three past Las Palmas at the Bernabéu. Goals from Casemiro, Marco Asensio and Isco gave Zidane’s men all three points, taking them to 3rd place. For Las Palmas, the defeat leaves them rooted in 19th place with only 2 wins in 11 games.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid v Las Palmas - La Liga
Real Madrid v Las Palmas - La Liga
Kiko Casilla - 6/10
Real’s shot-stopper put in a better performance than he did at Wembley, but it still may not satisfy the blood-thirsty Madrid fans. However, he can at least boast his second clean sheet since the start of October.
Nacho Fernandez - 6.5/10
Zinedine Zidane decided to re-shuffle things for the visit of Las Palmas and with that, the ever-reliable Nacho Fernandez was deployed at right-back. Although not technically gifted, the Spaniard’s willingness to support the attack gave Las Palmas several problems as he continuously overloaded their right flank.
Jesus Vallejo - 5.5/10
The 20-year-old was given his first league start of the season against Las Palmas and he showcased his immaturity. The youngster at times was out of position and rash in his tackling, he also didn’t win one aerial.
Sergio Ramos - 7/10
The Los Blancos captain was a calming presence alongside his new centre-back partner. Las Palmas looked a threat on the counter-attack, but Ramos was there at all times to stop them.
Marcelo - 6/10
Marcelo was his normal busy self down the left flank, always looking to support the attack and get crosses into the box. The Brazilian successfully completed 94% of his passes.
Toni Kroos - 6.5/10
The German, calmly, but quickly spread possession from side to side throughout the game. He was the one feeding the runs of Fernandez and Marcelo, ensuring their width was capitalised on.
Casemiro - 6.5/10
The Brazilian’s positioning was all over the place but in the end, it was his 40th-minute header that set the ball in motion for Real Madrid.
Isco - 7/10
Madrid’s best player this season performed in the same way against Las Palmas, by being that creative spark in the final third. The Spaniard created 3 chances, completed 73 passes and scored 1 goal.
Marco Asensio - 7/10
In the 56th minute, the Spanish wonderkid reminded the world why he’s so highly rated by La Liga watchers. Asensio produced a half-volley from 30 yards out with such force and venom, that it nearly ripped the net apart.
Overall, the 21-year-old had a good game, he successfully completed 3 take-ons and produced 65 accurate passes.
Karim Benzema - 5/10
Real’s no.9 has come under much scrutiny this season, his lack of goals has been cited as a clear indication of his decline in ability. The Frenchman responded to that criticism, by aimlessly walking around the final third with no real purpose.
He added nothing to Real’s link-up play, neither did he look like scoring. His cameo was put to bed in the 74th minute as he was taken off for Lucas Vazquez.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 6.5/10
Real Madrid v Las Palmas - La Liga
Real Madrid v Las Palmas - La Liga
The closest the world’s best player came to scoring was when he curled a magnificent effort with his left foot onto the post. Besides that, the Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure up front as his poor goalscoring form continued.
However, although he couldn’t score himself, the 32-year-old was doing his best to create chances for others. His hard work was eventually rewarded as he provided an amazing assist for Isco in the 74th minute.
Marcos Llorente - 6/10
The holding midfielder came on for Casemiro in the 68th minute and instantly joined several attacks, even creating a chance for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lucas Vazquez - N/A
The Spaniard tried his best to make an impact, but his runs were ignored by others after he came on in the 75th minute.
Dani Ceballos - N/A
The young midfielder steadied the ship and protected his team’s clean sheet in the few minutes that he was deployed. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Real Madrid Team News vs UD Las Palmas: Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale set to miss out

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale (L) and Real Madrid's defender Dani Carvajal celebrate after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs SD Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on October 2, 2016. / AFP / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
For this tie, Zinedine Zidane will be without the likes of Raphael Varane, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic, as they continue their recovery programs. As per Real’s official site, none of them trained with the main squad in the final training sessions and hence, will not feature.
Zidane confirmed in his press conference that Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale have returned to training. “Dani is doing well, he’s training as usual. Gareth has now completed a second training session with the group and the process is following its normal course.”

The Frenchman went on to say however, that neither will feature in the squad list as they are being eased back into action after the international break. He also revealed that Bale, like Cristiano Ronaldo, wouldn’t be travelling with his side for national duty in the upcoming break.

Having lost two consecutive games, Zidane was asked whether he would consider a change of formation, to which he replied that while his side are capable of playing in many different formations, it doesn’t change the main goal of going out there and trying to win.
He said,”We’re capable of playing in a lot of different ways and using different formations, but that doesn’t change what we’ve got to go out and do on the pitch. It doesn’t depend on the system and I’m not going to go changing things just because we’ve lost two games. We need to win tomorrow and we’ll have to see how we’re going to try and do that.”
So we will likely see the exact same or a largely similar starting XI that started that 1-3 hammering against Tottenham. They remain his strongest starting XI and having served him so well prior to those two losses, it is unlikely that Zidane will lose faith in his men so soon.

Paper Round: Dele Alli attracts Real Madrid interest

Real Madrid want Dele Alli, Manchester United cool on Mesut Ozil, West Ham consider appointing David Moyes, and Spurs and Arsenal compete for Leon Goretzka.

Real Madrid target Alli

After a difficult start to their season, and having seen him in action during their 3-1 defeat last week, Real Madrid are interested in bringing Dele Alli to Spain. Alli, 21, could also be interesting other top clubs, according to Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, who said, “I’m rather hoping he won’t be looking for such a move but there is no doubt that Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich have a big pull."


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dele Alli double rocks Real Madrid for historic Tottenham victory

Dele Alli, right, celebrates giving Tottenham the lead against Real Madrid with Kieran Trippier, who supplied the cross for the goal

To put this result in perspective, it had been five years since Real Madrid last experienced what it was like to lose a Champions League group game. They had won this competition three times out of the past four seasons and, though it didn’t particularly feel that way here, don’t discount the possibility of that famous old pot returning to the Bernabéu again next May. Not yet, anyway.
However, this was the night when the most successful club side in Europe found out the hard way why Mauricio Pochettino and his players have attracted so much acclaim over the past few years. It was the night Dele Alli nutmegged Sergio Ramos and, by the end, Cristiano Ronaldo could be seen dragging his fingers down his cheeks in frustration. For Spurs, it went better than they could possibly have dared to hope and, without exaggeration, sparked the sort of euphoria that should embolden them now to think they can actually win this competition. Yes, let’s not get carried away, but what other conclusion is there when they have taken apart the 12-times winners? “It wasn’t that we played badly,” Zinedine Zidane, Madrid’s manager, said. “We just came up against the better team.”
That makes it the most triumphant occasion yet of the Pochettino era, qualifying for the knockout stages with two games to spare, and the damage for Madrid might have been even worse if Alli had not headed wide from a glorious opportunity to complete a hat-trick, with the score at 3-0. No matter. Alli had already struck in each half before Christian Eriksen’s breakaway goal put Spurs in dreamland and, at that stage, Madrid were heading for the kind of drubbing that a club with their haughty self-regard would consider an affront. Ronaldo’s goal, 10 minutes from the end, changed the complexion a little but it would have needed an extraordinary feat of escapology to save Zidane’s team at that stage. And Spurs, frankly, are no longer a side with that kind of soft centre.
They had already supplied hard evidence in the Bernabeu two weeks ago that they were comfortable against elite opposition. That 1-1 draw undoubtedly helped to fix a mindset that they could take down Ronaldo et al and, in the process, they made it feel like a trick of the imagination that the common theory not too long ago was they did not enjoy playing at Wembley. The noise was as good as any time since Spurs took temporary residence. In fact, it was difficult to think of another occasion, certainly not an England fixture, when the volume has been turned so high.
Madrid often had more of the ball and Ronaldo, being Ronaldo, was a difficult and elusive opponent, shimmering with menace. Yet Tottenham gave everything to show they could excel at this level. They were quick to the ball, strong in the tackle and utterly fearless. The night was a personal ordeal for Casemiro, usually one of the more distinguished midfielders in the business, and Spurs also had the little moments of luck that are sometimes needed on the big nights. In particular, Alli’s second goal took a handy deflection off Ramos before flying in from 20 yards.
Yet this was a fully merited victory. Harry Kane’s willingness to take on opponents and drive forwards in attacking positions made him a threat all evening. Alli’s contribution went way beyond his goals and it was also another fine night for Harry Winks. Kieran Trippier fully justified his selection ahead of Serge Aurier and Hugo Lloris showed again that he was a splendid goalkeeper, just as he had done in the Bernabéu.
The game was always fraught with danger, as it tends to be when Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Isco are playing on the other side and Marcelo is joining in attacks as an auxiliary left-winger. Yet there was never any hint of an inferiority complex and Spurs passed the ball so purposefully it did not come as a surprise when Alli opened the scoring after 27 minutes.
They had, after all, already put together a near-identical move earlier only for Alli to hang back when Trippier drilled the ball first-time across the six-yard area. Trippier’s determination to occupy attacking positions was a prominent feature all night and the next time he aimed a low centre into the box Alli made sure he reached the ball first to apply the decisive touch in front of Kiko Casilla, Madrid’s goalkeeper.
Alli’s second of the night came 11 minutes into the second half, leaving Casemiro on the floor before getting lucky with his deflected shot, but the third goal was the outstanding one, starting in the Spurs half before Eriksen was suddenly bursting through the middle. Alli and Kane had combined to set their team-mate free. It was a counter-attack of penetrative speed and Eriksen showed considerable composure, expertly steering his shot past Casilla.
Ronaldo’s goal was a much scruffier event from one of several goalmouth scrambles in the final exchanges. Yet there was only a flicker of anxiety among a near-84,000 crowd. Spurs are too stout these days to go into meltdown. Their body language was of a team who seemed completely unsurprised by the result and their supporters will remember this victory for many years.
Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 4 7 10
2 Real Madrid 4 3 7
3 Borussia Dortmund 4 -4 2
4 Apoel Nicosia 4 -6 2

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Real Madrid need player like Mbappe, not €200m Kane

The Blancos continue to be heavily linked with the Tottenham striker, but the former Bernabeu star would rather see them move for a younger option

Real Madrid should be looking for an exciting youngster such as Kylian Mbappe rather than spending €200 million on Harry Kane, says Steve McManaman.
The reigning La Liga champions continue to be heavily linked with the prolific Tottenham striker, who has been billed as a natural successor to Cristiano Ronaldo in the Spanish capital.
Kane’s form for Spurs and England has put him in the shop window, with a regular source of goals seeing him placed in a talent bracket alongside the world’s best.
McManaman, though, feels that Real would be better advised signing a player with potential to unlock rather than paying over the odds for a proven performer.
The former Real midfielder told Marca ahead of a European clash between Spurs and the Blancos at Wembley:  "I would prefer [to sign] a young boy like Kylian Mbappe.

 Harry Kane Steve McManaman Real Madrid too costly

"It is better to promote from within.
"You need to pay €200 million for Kane and I do not understand those figures."
While McManaman feels a big-money move for Kane makes little financial sense, he does believe that the 24-year-old would find it easy to settle in Spain.
Few English players take the opportunity to leave the comforts of their homeland, but McManaman did during his playing days and was rewarded with over 150 appearances for Real as he collected two La Liga titles and a pair of Champions League crowns.
He added: "In England the clubs are very professional and it is a great place to be.
"Kane can stay in London because he is happy with his family.
"But if he moved to Real Madrid, surely he wouldn’t have problems adapting.
"Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and other players speak English and can help him. Madrid is also a beautiful city."