MX23RW : Tuesday, March 31 00:49:11| >> :120:7126:7126:

Preview: Deportivo La Coruna vs. Real Madrid

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Deportivo La Coruna and Real Madrid at the Riazor.

Real Madrid must beat Deportivo La Coruna and hope for a favour from Granada in order to snatch the La Liga title away from Barcelona on the final weekend of the season.

Just one point separates the top two teams entering week 38, but Real Madrid's result will be meaningless if Barcelona manage to beat Granada in their final league match.


Deportivo

Deportivo La Coruna's midfielder Lucas Perez (R) hugs his teammate midfielder Alex Bergantinos after scoring their second goal during the Spanish league football match RC Deportivo La Coruna vs Celta Vigo at the Municipal de Riazor stadium in La Coruna on© Getty Images

Eight wins, 18 draws and 11 defeats is how Deportivo have performed in La Liga this season, with that record giving them 42 points and 13th position in the table entering week 38.

They are six points clear of the relegation zone and have actually lost the joint-fewest league games this season outside of the top four, but just eight victories in 37 matches is an indication of their troubles throughout the campaign.

Incredibly, Depor actually have the worst home record in the entire league this season - picking up just 20 points from their 18 on home soil. They have also shipped 32 goals at the Riazor, although eight of those came against Barcelona last month.

Between April 2 and May 1, Deportivo failed to record a single win, but a 2-0 success over Villarreal last time out has at least taken the pressure off entering this weekend's match.

It is worth remembering that Deportivo won La Liga in the 1999-2000 season and then finished third or higher in their next four campaigns. They have gradually slipped away, however, and have spent two seasons in the Segunda since 2011.

Last season, the Blue and Whites finished 16th and while it does appear that they will improve on that position this time around, it has still been a largely frustrating campaign. Victory over Real Madrid, however, would be the perfect way to end the 2015-16 season.

Recent form: LDLDLW


Real Madrid

Real Madrid's French assistant coach Zinedine Zidane looks on before the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on August 18, 2013© Getty Images

In the middle of March, Real Madrid were down in third position and 15 points behind Barcelona, who showed no signs of slowing down in the final months of the season.

A wobble from Barcelona, however, has allowed Real Madrid to take the title race to the final weekend and any slip from the Catalan giants would open the door for Zinedine Zidane's team.

It would be fair to say that the experiment of Rafael Benitez did not work, but Zidane has made a serious impression over the last couple of months. Indeed, Los Blancos have now won their last 11 league games after a 3-2 success over Valencia last weekend kept their title hopes alive.

Not since the end of February have Real Madrid been beaten in the league, and that was a 1-0 reverse at home to Atletico Madrid. That defeat has inspired the capital club, however, and they will also take on Atletico in the Champions League final later this month.

Real Madrid are also currently on their best away league run since March 2014, winning seven of their last 10 on their travels and remaining unbeaten. What's more, this is already Real Madrid's third best goal-scoring season in La Liga - hitting 108 goals in their 37 matches to date.

Despite being 32-time winners of La Liga, Real Madrid have not collected the top prize since 2012, and it does appear that they will miss out once again, unless Granada can pull off a shock result.

Recent form: WWWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWDWWW


Team News

Gareth Bale thinks he's scored during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Madrid on April 2, 2016© Getty Images

Depor boss Victor Sanchez has no fresh injury concerns from the win over Villarreal last weekend and could be tempted to select the same XI.

Cani and Jonas Gutierrez are both pushing for inclusion after coming off the bench last weekend, but Fede Cartabia and Luis Alberto are expected to continue in the wide positions.

Lucas Perez will be looking to add to his 17 league goals for the season.

As for Real Madrid, Keylor Navas, Pepe and Luka Modric are all expected to return from injuries which forced them to miss the 3-2 win over Valencia.

Gareth Bale is also expected to play a part, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will continue to build their fitness ahead of the Champions League final.

Deportivo possible starting lineup:
Manu; Laure, Arribas, Sidnei, Juanfran; Cartabia, Fajr, Bergantinos, Mosquera, Alberto; Perez

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Navas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale


Head To Head

After winning six straight home league games against Real Madrid, Deportivo have now gone four without a victory against Los Blancos on home soil - losing three times in the process.

Real Madrid thumped Deportivo 5-0 when the pair met at the Bernabeu earlier this season and also recorded an 8-2 victory on their last visit to La Coruna (September 2014).

Deportivo have also only scored three times in their last five league games with Real Madrid.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Deportivo 0-2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid must win to put the pressure on Barcelona and it would be a major surprise if they passed up the chance to potentially win the title. Deportivo impressed against Villarreal last weekend, but we expect Los Blancos to run out comfortable winners at the Riazor once again.


ID:272602:

Who will triumph at the Riazor this weekend?

Deportivo
Draw
Real Madrid
Deportivo
22.8%
Draw
17.5%
Real Madrid
59.6%
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Karim Benzema celebrates scoring with Cristiano Ronaldo during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Villarreal on April 20, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona27184563313258
2Real Madrid27168349193056
3Sevilla27138639291047
4Real Sociedad27144945331246
5Getafe27137737251246
6Atletico MadridAtletico271112431211045
7Valencia2711973839-142
8Villarreal27115114438638
9Granada27115113332138
10Athletic Bilbao2791082923637
11Osasuna2781093438-434
12Real Betis2789103843-533
13Levante27103143240-833
14AlavesAlaves2788112937-832
15Real Valladolid27611102333-1029
16EibarEibar2776142741-1427
17Celta Vigo27511112234-1226
18Mallorca2774162844-1625
19Leganes2758142139-1823
20Espanyol2748152346-2320

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