Real Madrid will seek to consolidate their lead on top of the La Liga table when they travel to the Estadio El Molinon, in Gijon, on Saturday, December 3, 2011, to take on Sporting Gijon. A win, and the consequent three points, will keep Jose Mourinho’s side safe from any upheaval by traditional rivals Barcelona. Three points adrift of Barca, while having played one game fewer than the champions, the capital side have established their dominance on the points table, with a third of the season done and dusted.
Real Madrid have found their attacking rhythm this season in which they have been the outstanding side, and their latest 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid bears testimony. In their own league game last week, Sporting came off 4-0 losers against Levante. The Rojiblancos, who appear in danger of relegation, began the season poorly but have improved in recent weeks, to be able to harbour dreams of a mid-table finish.
For the home side, David Barral has played the star turn this season, with five goals in 12 matches that include a brace in his side’s 2-2 stalemate against Real Zaragoza. Ahead of Saturday’s match with Real Madrid, Gijon appear likely to miss the services of midfielder Alberto Ramos, owing to a hamstring strain.
In a blow to the visiting team, their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo, sustained an ankle injury in his side’s 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid. The injury occurred after a rough tackle by Atletico de Madrid’s Colombian defender Luis Amaranto Perea on the Real Madrid forward. With Ronaldo absenting himself from training on Tuesday, there’s a question mark over his participation in Saturday’s game with the Rojiblancos.
In the possible absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, owing to his ankle injury, Mourinho will rely on Gonzalo Higuain to provide the attacking thrust against Gijon. Higuain has 12 goals to his name from 13 appearances in the league and that is a formidable stat by any measure. Barring two games, Real Madrid have found the back of rival nets in every league match played, this season, and are in fact averaging three goals a game, overall. Apart from Higuain, Los Blancos have another potent goal scorer, in Karim Benzema, who has totted up seven strikes, during the ongoing season.
Real Madrid are overwhelming favourites to win the upcoming game, with odds of 2/9 quoted on a Real Madrid win, while a home win and a draw attract respective odds of 11/1 and 5/1.
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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.