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Preview: Real Madrid vs. Eibar - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Eibar, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways in La Liga when they welcome Eibar to the Bernabeu on Friday night.

The fixture will take place in front of an empty stadium at the Bernabeu as Spain attempts to control the coronavirus outbreak which has swept across the world.

Match preview

Real Madrid's Isco celebrates scoring their first goal with Vinicius Junior and Sergio Ramos on February 26, 2020© Reuters

Friday's clash will be the first La Liga fixture impacted by the coronavirus, and there is bound to be a strange atmosphere inside the stadium when Madrid return to the field.

Zinedine Zidane's side have actually only won one of their last five matches in all competitions, losing three times in the process during a difficult run.

Indeed, in addition to La Liga defeats to Levante and Real Betis, Madrid suffered a 2-1 loss to Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on February 26.

Zidane's team did win their last home league match against Barcelona, though, and are still in a decent position in the table as they have credit in the bank for a strong first half of the campaign.

Indeed, the capital giants are only two points off league leaders Barca heading into Friday's contest, meaning that a victory would see them return to the summit before the reigning champions are next in action 24 hours later.

Eibar's Pablo De Blasis celebrates scoring against Barcelona in La Liga on May 19, 2019© Reuters

Eibar, meanwhile, will enter the match in 16th position in the table, only two points clear of the relegation zone having picked up just 27 points from their 27 fixtures this term.

The Gunsmiths have performed above expectations in La Liga over the last three campaigns, posting 10th, ninth and 12th in their last three seasons at this level of football.

Jose Luis Mendilibar's side are in a relegation battle this season, though, and it is slightly concerning that they have only won one of their last seven league matches.

Indeed, the Basque outfit will enter the game off the back of successive defeats to Mallorca and Real Soicedad, while they have only won one of their last 10 league games with Madrid and suffered a 4-0 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Real Madrid La Liga form: WWDLWL
Real Madrid form (all competitions): WDLLWL

Eibar La Liga form: DLLWLL
Eibar form (all competitions): DLLWLL

Team News

Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann in action with Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois in La Liga at Camp Nou on December 18, 2019© Reuters

Madrid will be without the services of Thibaut Courtois, Marcelo, Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio for the clash through injury, but Isco is in contention having returned to training on Wednesday.

The Spain international missed out against Betis last weekend due to a back injury but could start on Friday, while Alphonse Areola and Ferland Mendy are certain to earn spots in the side.

Vinicius Junior will also be hoping to keep his spot in the final third, although there could be a change in midfield with Federico Valverde expected to be recalled.

Dani Carvajal is also available having overcome the flu.

As for Eibar, Ivan Ramis will again miss out with a knee injury, while Paulo Oliveira and Gonzalo Escalante are both suspended.

Sebastian Cristoforo could take Escalante's spot in the middle of the park, although there are not expected to be any changes further forward with Kike again set to lead the line despite pressure from Charles.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Areola; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Isco

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Dmitrovic; Correa, Arbilla, Bigas, Cote; Alvarez, Cristoforo; Inui, Edu, Orellana; Kike

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We say: Real Madrid 2-0 Eibar

It is going to be a strange match at the Bernabeu for obvious reasons, but Madrid will still be desperate to return to winning ways despite the circumstances surrounding the match, and we fancy Zidane's side to record a 2-0 victory, taking themselves back to the top of the table in the process.

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Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann in action with Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois in La Liga at Camp Nou on December 18, 2019
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