Getafe host Real Madrid in a derby that could guide the course of the top four race in the league’s concluding stages.
While the hosts have a European spot to fight for, Los Blancos face the need to rediscover their identity after a miserable season.
Madrid have won all of their last 10 games in all competitions against the dark-horses from their city, but Getafe have won six of their last seven games at home.
We take a look at the talking points ahead of this tie which promises to be a cracking contest.
Will anybody but Benzema please stand up?
There is reliance and then there is the case of having each of your last eight goals scored by the same player. Calling Karim Benzema the best player in the Madrid squad this season would be an understatement.
One could make an argument for why Los Blancos will feature in Europe next season solely due to the efforts of the Frenchman. He has scored for Madrid in victories, stalemates and defeats, earning them nine points in the last one month alone.
With Vinicius Junior maturing into a starter next term and the possibility of Eden Hazard donning Los Merengues, the front-line is in danger – or rather in need – of a clean-up.
Isco and Gareth Bale need to at least support Benzema if they are incapable of playing protagonist. This could prove to influence their status next season massively. The wings will be heavily contested for and the duo are short on time as they look to make a case.
In all probability, Bale could leave the club at the end of the season either on a permanent transfer or on loan. His form at the closure of the current season could influence whether he will be plying trades for a high-profile club. Simply put, Bale has no excuses to slack-off; he needs to impress his future owners if his fate at Madrid is already sealed.
Europe within touching distance for Getafe
It’s only a matter of time that Getafe mathematically qualify for the Europa League play-offs. But the side from Madrid deserve much more. Battling against odds, Getafe have managed to stay in the top-four after 33 games with the likes of Valencia and Sevilla breathing down their necks.
With Valencia failing to beat Atletico Madrid, Getafe will be handed a massive advantage ahead of the last four games if they manage to bag all three points against Madrid.
Sevilla are yet to face Atletico Madrid and an in-form Atletic Bilba. While Getafe do have a fixture against league leaders Barcelona left in their schedule, it’s very likely that the Catalans would have wrapped up the title by then and shifted 100 percent of their focus to the Champions League.
In a way, the derby is Getafe’s most challenging game of the remainder of the season and a win would surely provide them a massive boost in terms of morale and in the points table.
Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina have always stepped up for Getafe when needed this season. Will they be able to dent a Sergio Ramos-less Madrid?
Marcelo on borrowed time
Ex-Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari’s time at the club was rather forgettable, but the Argentine did get certain things right. His faith in youngsters like Federico Valverde, Alvaro Odriozola and Sergio Reguilon had paid off well.
Of all, the left-back has impressed most and has performed better than Marcelo whenever presented with the opportunity. In all likelihood, Reguilon will be starting games next season unless Marcelo’s performances convince otherwise.
It’s true that the Brazilian has been first choice once Zinedine Zidane returned as manager but this has more to do with the manager’s preference than his performances.
Marcelo always compromises on his defensive duties when he goes forward in attack, but the left-back has failed to achieve the best of either world this season and is in need of a series of inspirational performances.
The 30-year-old is on borrowed time. It’s only a matter of time when Zidane runs out of patience and shows him the door.
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