Sep 24, 2016 at 7.45pm UK at ​Gran Canaria
Las PalmasLas Palmas
Real Madrid
Tana (38'), Araujo (85')
Mesa (23'), Garcia (54'), Tana (91')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Asensio (33'), Benzema (67')
Kroos (58'), Carvajal (77')

Preview: Las Palmas vs. Real Madrid

Sports Mole previews Saturday night's La Liga clash between Las Palmas and Real Madrid from Gran Canaria.

Real Madrid will look to return to winning ways in La Liga when they travel to Las Palmas on Saturday night.

Los Blancos' 100% start to the campaign ended with a 1-1 draw against Villarreal on Wednesday and they could enter this match as low as third in the table if Barcelona and Sevilla both win on Saturday.

Las Palmas

Gareth Bale in action during the La Liga game between Las Palmas and Real Madrid on March 13, 2016© AFP

A solid start to the campaign has left Las Palmas in fifth position on nine points. They opened the season with a brilliant 4-2 win away at Valencia, before putting five past Granada on the second weekend to rise to the top of the league. Their first setback came on September 10, however, as they lost 2-1 at Sevilla in what was another impressive performance.

The Yellows returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Malaga on September 17, but will enter this match off the back of a 4-1 defeat at Real Sociedad on Wednesday night. It has been an impressive start to the campaign, however, and they have triumphed in both home league matches this season.

Las Palmas returned to the top flight of Spanish football when they came through the Segunda Division playoffs in the 2014-15 campaign and they were very impressive last season – finishing in 11th position in the table.

Indeed, they were six points clear of the relegation zone last term and only four points behind eighth-placed Malaga, which was some achievement on their return to this level.

It was a fairly busy summer in terms of incomings at Las Palmas, with Mauricio Lemos, Mateo Garcia, Marko Livaja, Michel, Helder Lopes and Kevin-Prince Boateng all arriving. Only two of those players actually cost money, meanwhile, and they have some very talented players in their ranks.

In terms of what is ahead for Quique Setien's team, they will travel to Osasuna next weekend, before hosting Espanyol after the international break on October 14. The month then ends with matches at Villarreal and at home to Celta Vigo and it will be very interesting to see where they sit at the end of next month.

Recent form: WWLWL

Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the winning penalty during the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on May 28, 2016© Getty Images

Real Madrid entered Wednesday night's La Liga clash with Villarreal knowing that three points would see them continue their 100% start to the new campaign and indeed record a 17th straight league win, which would have been a record in the top flight of Spanish football.

As it transpired, the two teams could not be separated as a 1-1 draw saw Los Blancos drop points for the first time this season. It has still been an impressive start to the new campaign, however, with four wins and one draw from their opening five league matches leaving them top of the table - two points clear of their nearest challengers Sevilla.

Real Madrid have already won one trophy this season after beating Sevilla in the European Super Cup towards the beginning of August, and they made a strong start to La Liga – winning 3-0 at Real Sociedad on the opening weekend. Then came a 2-1 victory at home to Celta Vigo, before Cristiano Ronaldo made his return from a knee problem in a 5-2 victory against Osasuna.

Los Blancos then opened their Champions League group campaign with a 2-1 win at home to Sporting Lisbon, before continuing their strong run of form with a 2-0 victory at Espanyol last weekend. The winning run came to an end against Villarreal, but they will be confident of collecting all the points when they visit Gran Canaria on Saturday night.

In terms of what is ahead for Real Madrid, they will travel to Borussia Dortmund in their second Champions League group match on Tuesday night, before hosting Eibar and travelling to Real Betis in the league either side of the international break.

It would be fair to say that Gareth Bale, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have struggled to hit top form in the opening weeks of the season, but Alvaro Morata's return in the summer has boosted Zinedine Zidane's options in the final third and they look ready to win their first La Liga title since 2012.

Recent form: WWWWD
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWD

Team News

Gareth Bale embraces Karim Benzema during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Seville on March 20, 2016© AFP

Las Palmas will be without the services of Boateng after the well-travelled midfielder received a red card against Sociedad during the week, which should allow Jonathan Viera to return to the starting XI.

Roque Mesa, who is currently being linked with Arsenal and Leicester City, will also keep his spot, while Sergio Araujo is expected to continue in the final third with support from Nabil El Zhar in a wide position.

As for Real Madrid, Brazilian midfielder Casemiro will miss the match after suffering a fractured leg against Villarreal, but Dani Carvajal and Luka Modric are both expected to return to the starting XI in Gran Canaria.

Bale is still struggling to overcome a hip problem and has been replaced in Real Madrid's last two matches, but the Welshman should start alongside Ronaldo and Benzema, who is also struggling to return to full fitness.

Centre-forward Morata might have to settle for a spot on the bench once again despite impressing in the early stages of the season, but James Rodriguez should keep his place in the XI.

Las Palmas possible starting lineup:
Varas; Simon, Lemos, Bigas, D.Castellano; El Zhar, Montero, Mesa, Tana, Viera; Araujo

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Casilla; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, James; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo

Head To Head

Since 2000, these two teams have met on six occasions in Spain's top flight. Unsurprisingly, Real Madrid lead the head-to-head record five wins to Las Palmas's one, and Los Blancos recorded two victories during the 2015-16 campaign.

Their first top-flight clash since 2002 ended in a 3-1 Real Madrid win at the Bernabeu last October, before the Madrid giants recorded a 2-1 victory at this ground.

It was far from straightforward for Real Madrid in the corresponding fixture last season, however, with the Spanish giants needing an 89th-minute winner from Casemiro after Willian Jose had levelled the scores three minutes from time.

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We say: Las Palmas 1-3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid will, almost certainly, need to win in order to return to the top of the table on Saturday night, and we are finding it difficult to predict Las Palmas upsetting the Madrid giants. The Yellows have made a strong start to the campaign, but Real Madrid should have more than enough to continue their unbeaten start to the season with all three points.

Who will win Saturday's clash between Las Palmas and Real Madrid?

Las Palmas
Real Madrid
Las Palmas
Real Madrid
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