Getafe: Soria; Damian, Cabaco, Mitrovic, Cuenca, Olivera; Maksimovic, Aleñá, Arambarri; Sandro and Enes Ünal.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas Vázquez, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Rodrygo, Asensio and Benzema.
Where to see
Follow the game live on ‘Carrusel Deportivo’ starting at 1:50 p.m. with the direction of Dani Garrido and narration by Antonio Romero. You can watch the game on the La Liga channel of ‘Movistar +’ where you can select the audio from Cadena SER.
Getafe and Real Madrid raise the football curtain of 2022 in Spain with a Madrid derby with a clear white tone in its history, which presents Eden Hazard with his expected continuity as a starter, given the loss of Vinícius Junior due to coronavirus, and the challenge of leading the end to a team that exhibits visitor power and intends to start the year with the same determination towards the title with which it closed the past.
Seven derbies at the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum without losing. Five victories. These are data that show the authority of Real Madrid in Getafe. With two recent warnings in the form of goalless draws in two of his last three visits, the last season that caused a definitive step back in the title fight.
The present is very different. Outstanding leader, Ancelotti’s team with an eight-point cushion over Sevilla, which is expanded to 17 with the reigning champion, Atlético de Madrid, with one more match over both. Real Madrid are looking for a rival while taking muscle away from the Bernabéu, with 25 points out of 30 possible and a single defeat, at Espanyol’s home. The image with which he dismissed 2021 in San Mamés, wants to repeat it to start a January in which the expected rotations will arrive with the arrival of the Copa del Rey and due to the situation generated by the coronavirus.
Recovered a good handful of players from the last outbreak in the Madrid dressing room, even at the last minute infected after the holidays that ended up being false positives such as Thibaut Courtois, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga, low due to sanction, the virus leaves one of the great references of Ancelotti, the Brazilian Vinícius, and the Serbian Luka Jovic. Neither will Dani Carvajal nor Gareth Bale be in Getafe due to muscular problems.
But the Italian coach recovers two of the players who mark the way, the Brazilian Casemiro and the Croatian LuKa Modric, absent due to suspension and covid in San Mamés, respectively. He must decide ‘Carletto’, between Nacho or Lucas Vázquez for the right side and a square of his offensive trident between Marco Asensio and the Brazilian Rodrygo. The situation opens the door to continuity for Belgian Hazard, who improved his physique in his last appearances and is now taking the step to exert the expected leadership. Now or never.
With a great sense of relief after leaving the relegation places last round for the first time this season, Getafe will face the derby with much more to gain than to lose. The defeat would fall within a foreseeable script and would not tarnish the good moment of Quique Sánchez Flores’ team, which will go for victory to maintain its ascending line in LaLiga Santander. And it is that, with his arrival on the blue bench after the dismissal of Míchel on the eighth day, he has managed to scare away a crisis with which he was inevitably destined for relegation. With Míchel, he barely added one point out of 24 possible, while with Quique, Getafe has achieved 14 points out of 30 and has gone from being bottom to occupying one of the places that grant salvation.
Now, the architect of Getafe’s ‘miracle’ will have to face the major challenge of scoring three points against a team whose club has not won for nine years. He will try true to his style of this course, with a defense of five, an eleven that can practically be repeated on a run every day and with a group of players who will gather in their field and try to hit the counterattack.
Only one of Getafe’s starters is safe: the Togolese defender Djené Dakonam, who will have to serve a penalty game. There are two candidates to replace him. The first, the Uruguayan Erick Cabaco, “punished” last day for his absurd expulsion in the Cup that cost Getafe half an elimination against Atlético Baleares. The second, Chema Rodríguez, who is physically limping due to some discomfort. One of the two will be chosen.
Two other names will also remain in the infirmary: the Mexican José Juan Macías, still with his soleus “touched”, and Víctor Machín “Vitolo”, who still needs a little more time to recover from a muscle injury. There could also be some extra casualties caused by the coronavirus. At the moment, the Madrid club has not reported any positive in the squad, although there could be three affected players.
Although it is not official, the same Quique Sánchez Flores, in a press conference, dropped that Getafe would not have escaped the plague of positives: “We have a relatively small incidence for what the competition has been. We will be cautious because there are still two days to the game and surprises may arise. ” With those possible surprises that could cause variations in the eleven, for the moment he will align an eleven with ten indisputable starters who will try to end almost a decade of poor results against Real Madrid. With a victory, they will settle into the saving positions. A defeat falls within the logic.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.