How Real Madrid Will Line Up Against Getafe

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How Real Madrid Will Line Up Against Getafe
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

A full house is expected at the Santiago Bernabeu for what should prove Gareth Bale's full debut in front of his new supporters.

The Welshman, who started against Villarreal last weekend, came off the bench against Galatasaray in midweek. However, he is almost certain to start for the visit of Getafe on Sunday, according to Marca.

Carlo Ancelotti has enjoyed an unbeaten start to life as Real Madrid's new coach—last weekend's draw against the Yellow Submarine the only slight blot—and he will be keen to continue that record against their less glamorous neighbours.

A win would take Los Blancos to 13 points from their first five games, but what team will the Italian put out in search of the three points?

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Iker Casillas' return to first-team action was cruelly ended after 15 minutes in Istanbul following a clash with Sergio Ramos. While he may be fit to feature in the squad this weekend, Diego Lopez should return to his starting berth in between the sticks.

Meanwhile, in defence, Fabio Coentrao could be fit enough to return to action. That would leave Ancelotti with the question of whether to revert Alvaro Arbeloa to right-back, dropping Dani Carvajal as a consequence, or to leave the former Liverpool defender on the left until Coentrao has built up his match fitness.

Centrally, Raphael Varane is making strides following an injury, but he's not yet ready to replace either Sergio Ramos or Pepe.

Luka Modric and Sami Khedira were Ancelotti's midfield pairing in Turkey. However, a home match against Getafe presents Madrid's coach with the perfect opportunity to give some more minutes to Asier Illarramendi, while Xabi Alonso remains sidelined.

The midfielder, who arrived from Real Sociedad this summer, made a subdued debut against Villarreal last weekend thanks to Bale's presence and it could be the same story for his home debut on Sunday evening. 

With Bale expected to start, one of the front four who started what turned into a rout against Galatasaray will have to make way.

Real Madrid - La Liga - 22nd September 2013 - Football tactics and formations

Ancelotti will drop Cristiano Ronaldo at his peril, while he also seems determined to allow Karim Benzema to play himself into form—perhaps encouraged by Zinedine Zidane. That leaves Isco and Angel di Maria as the two candidates for the chop.

While Di Maria is the obvious choice, it wouldn't be totally surprising—given that he's started every game so far this season—to see the 21-year-old Isco given a place among the substitutes to start the match.

Getafe have picked up four points from their opening four fixtures. Even though they beat Madrid in the reverse fixture last season, whatever team Ancelotti puts out should have more than enough quality to sink their less wealthy visitors.

That means the attention will once again fall on Ronaldo and Bale, the world's two most expensive players. How will they play together? And how many can they both manage to score?

 

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