The Bernabeu will witness La Liga football action on Saturday, October 15, 2011, when Real Madrid host Betis. The home side will go into the match with the comfort of knowing that they have not lost a home game to their Saturday rivals, in the last 13 years. That last win for Betis came in 1998, when the visitors won 1-0.
That said, Betis, newly promoted to the top flight of Spanish football, have had an impressive start to the season, with four wins on the trot. However, back-to-back losses against Getafe and Levante in their last two games, have sullied Betis’ record, somewhat.
The sides last met, way back in February 2009, at the same venue, when the hosts prevailed by a dominant 6-1 score-line. Jose Mourinho’s wards have displayed their attacking flair, this season, with their last three league rivals, Rayo Vallecano, Ajax and Espanyol, shipping 13 goals, between them.
Real Madrid have suffered just the solitary defeat, at the hands of Levante, who edged past Mourinho’s squad by a 1-0 score-line.
Gonzalo Higuain, who had a brilliant hat-trick, in Real Madrid’s 4-0 thrashing of Espanyol, in the last league game, on October 2, is likely to continue to lead the attack. Karim Benzema, whom Higuain replaced against Espanyol, is yet to recover to match fitness. In fact, Higuain has had successive hat-tricks, with the one, for his national side, Chile, preceding the other, for his club. Others on the injury list are Nuri Sahin and Raul Albiols. The latter, with a fractured cheekbone, is unlikely to return to football action till the first week of November.
However, Real Madrid are likely to be boosted by the return from injury of Fabio Coentrao and Pepe; both players are likely to feature in Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven. Mouinho has a wealth of options for the third midfield spot, in the form of Diarra, Khedira and Xabi Alonso.
Betis manager Pepe Mel has fewer injury worries ahead of the game and Nelson apart, his other key players look likely to feature in Saturday’s game with Real Madrid.
Real Madrid’s probable eleven: Casillas, Ramos, Carvalho, Pepe, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Diarra, Ronaldo, Ozil, Kaka, Higuain
Betis’ probable eleven: Espinosa, Chica, Amaya, Dorado, Perez, Etxebarria, Iriney, Vadilla, Sevilla, Montero, Santa Cruz
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.