Deportivo Alaves vs Real Madrid
Estadio Mendizorrotza is the venue as Deportivo Alaves and Real Madrid go head-to-head in contrasting La Liga circumstances.
Deportivo Alaves’ troubled return to the top table continued in the previous round as La Liga leaders Girona thumped them 3-0, condemning them to a third consecutive league game without a victory (D1, L2). Head coach Luis Garcia Plaza seems unable to galvanize Alaves’ one-dimensional frontline, with ‘El Glorioso’ lamenting the division’s joint-worst scoring record of only 14 goals in 17 matches. But if there’s a silver lining, then it’s the fact that 71% of their top-flight goals this season have come on home turf, where they boast a decent-looking 62.5% unbeaten ratio (W4, D1, L3). However, despite emerging victorious in two of their last three home league outings, the hosts know better than to place high expectations ahead of this fixture, knowing their three most recent top-flight H2Hs at home have yielded defeats.
On the other hand, Real Madrid bounced back from a frustrating 1-1 draw at Real Betis on their last La Liga travel with a commanding 4-1 home triumph against Villarreal at the weekend, closing the gap on Girona to two points. Carlo Ancelotti’s men come into this encounter amidst an outrageous run of form, having gone unbeaten in their last 16 games in all competitions (W13, D3). What’s even more impressive is that they’ve netted 2+ goals in all 13 wins in that sequence, which has been the case in each of their last three top-flight visits to Alaves. Ancelotti’s forwards may need to be at their best again to get another crucial three points over the line, considering ‘Los Merengues’ haven’t kept a clean sheet in five of their last six competitive away matches.