Who: Deportivo La Coruna vs. Real Madrid
When: February 23, 2013. 2 p.m. (EST)
Where: Estadio Municipal de Riazor, A Coruna
Spanish giants Real Madrid will travel to La Coruna on Saturday to take on last-place Deportivo. The La Liga clash may have looked more interesting at the start of the season, but all signs point to a Madrid win.
Real Madrid has a few players returning from suspension after accumulating too many yellow cards, but some big stars will miss the encounter.
Sergio Ramos will be forced to watch the game from the sidelines after receiving his red card in his last La La match. Iker Casillas will also miss due to injury, but he is expected to return in one month.
Deportivo will also receive great news as Carlos Marchena will return from his suspension to anchor the defense. But more importantly, Ayoze is expected to make his return after last playing back in December (via Goal).
But the hosts will be without a few key players. Aythami and Laure will both miss the clash due to injury, while Manuel Pablo is suspended for the encounter.
While both clubs will be looking for a win, Real Madrid will also have one eye looking to the midweek Copa del Rey match with Barcelona. Expect Jose Mourinho to rest a few key players ahead of El Clasico.
Deportivo Current Form
Claiming the home side is on a bad run of form is an understatement. The home side has lost five straight games in La Liga and has only secured a win at El Riazor three times this season.
Deportivo’s defense will also be a liability against such a strong Real Madrid attack. The Turks have conceded 54 goals this season and boast the worst defense in Spain.
Real Madrid Current Form
Los Blancos are now getting back to their best after a shock loss to Granda a few weeks ago. Cristiano Ronaldo has been in scintillating form and should continue against the hosts.
But Real Madrid will have something to overcome. In all competitions, the Madrid-based club has only won one game out of its last six on the road. Though El Riazor is a tough stadium to compete in, expect Madrid not to struggle too much.
Real Madird has won five out of its last six meetings with the Turks and the trend should continue on Saturday.
For Deportivo, the entire match will ride on Riki and Pizzi. The duo has scored 16 of Deportivo’s 28 goals this season. Real Madrid’s defense will have trouble on its hands keeping the strike force at bay, but do not expect Los Blancos to be troubled that much.
For Real Madrid, the most important performers will be Ronaldo and Modric. Ronaldo has netted eight times in his last five games and will be very dangerous in attack.
But a lot of the match will ride on Modric. With Mesut Ozil and Xabi Alonso likely to be rested, the Croatian will have to prove that he belongs on this team.
Real Madrid should win this game rather easily. The weak Deportivo defense will not be able to hold the Whites as multiple goals should be scored.
But do not expect Deportivo to go down without a fight.
The Turks have proven that they have heart and do not give up. They will make things tough for Real Madrid and may challenge more than the score line shows. Do not be surprised if they find the back of the net.
Final prediction: Deportivo 1-4 Real Madrid
What are your thoughts entering the game? Will Madrid run away with this or will Deportivo give Madrid a real challenge? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on twitter for more discussions on Real Madrid, Deportivo, and La Liga.