MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 23:34:27| >> :120:5010:5010:
Nov 5, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid)
Attendance: 67,120
Real Madrid
3-0
Las PalmasLas Palmas
Casemiro (41'), Asensio (56'), Isco (74')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Las Palmas

Sports Mole previews the La Liga encounter at the Bernabeu between Real Madrid and Las Palmas.

Real Madrid are preparing to host Las Palmas on Sunday evening with the prospect of beginning the match with an 11-point gap to Barcelona in the La Liga standings.

Las Palmas make the trip to the Bernabeu having suffered defeat in their last six matches in Spain's top flight, although La UD did manage a victory over Deportivo La Coruna in the Copa del Rey.


Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane watches on during the Champions League quarter-final between Real Madrid and Wolfsburg on April 12, 2016© Getty Images

Real Madrid are not used to suffering one defeat, never mind two in a row, but Zinedine Zidane could not have asked for a better game to get his star-studded squad back on track both in the short term and in the La Liga title race.

Even at this stage, a gap of eight points to Barcelona may be difficult to overcome but Los Blancos can forget any talk of a successful defence of their crown until they show signs of making improvements from the defeats at both Girona and Tottenham Hotspur.

Cristiano Ronaldo has argued that Real did not deserve to lose either fixture due to offside goals and while the Portuguese superstar may have a case, Zidane will be more concerned by the lack of reaction from a group of players who completed the La Liga and Champions League double last season.

Only the players will know if motivation is a factor or whether the team are just going through a transitional period with Achraf Hakimi being required at right-back and expectation levels rising where Marco Asensio is concerned, but Real desperately require a win ahead of the derby with Atletico after the international break.

Ronaldo desperately needs to improve in La Liga, too, with the 32-year-old only contributing one goal and one assist from six starts in the league this season, although the forward does have six strikes in the Champions League.

Real will take heart from their last two home matches in the league being won with minimal fuss, but there may be a different atmosphere at the Bernabeu this weekend and Real need Ronaldo to lead from the front.

Recent form: LWWWWL
Recent form (all competitions): WDWWLL


Las Palmas

Las Palmas' midfielder Hernan celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs UD Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on October 31, 2015© Getty Images

Las Palmas are one of the few teams in La Liga who managed to gain a point or more at the Bernabeu last season, but it is fair to say that they face an uphill task on Sunday, despite the form of their hosts.

Back-to-back victories over Malaga and Athletic Bilbao in September had suggested that the top-flight minnows could enjoy a solid season, but two defeats were followed by the resignation of Manuel Marquez Roca, and Pako Ayestaran has struggled to halt the slump in his opening five weeks in charge.

The former Liverpool assistant has witnessed his side concede 15 goals in four league matches - although two of those matches were at Barcelona and Villarreal - and there will be feelings of trepidation ahead of one of world football's stiffest tests.

However, in attack, Loic Remy could provide Las Palmas with some much-needed hope. The 30-year-old left Chelsea to link up with the Gran Canaria-based club and has been somewhat of a revelation since August, scoring four goals in his first 272 minutes.

The French international has started just one game - the 3-1 defeat at Deportivo on Monday - but a seventh-minute effort should mean that he has moved himself above Jonathan Calleri in the pecking order ahead of a game when Ayestaran may have to opt for a more defensive lineup.

Las Palmas have players in Alberto Aquilani, Jonathan Viera and Vitolo who can really change the game going forward but Las Palmas will not make inroads up the table until the defence tightens up, and that must start on Sunday night.

Recent form: LLLLLL
Recent form (all competitions): LLLLWL


Team News

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) vies with Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane during the Spanish league 'Clasico' football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 21, 2015.© Getty Images

Zidane is likely to be able to welcome back Raphael Varane, who missed the Spurs defeat through injury, while Gareth Bale could potentially be included on the bench after a return to training.

However, Keylor Navas is likely to remain sidelined, with Kiko Casilla keeping his place in the team for his sixth appearance of the season.

Las Palmas have injury troubles ahead of the trip to Madrid, with Alen Halilovic, Oussama Tannane and Viera all set to miss out.

However, Remy should get the nod in attack, with Ayestaran having a decision to make over whether he begins on the flank or as the team's number nine.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Casilla; Hakimi, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema

Las Palmas possible starting lineup:
Raul; Lemos, Michel, Bigas, D.Castellano, Gomez, Samper, Aquilani, Vitolo, Remy, Calleri


Head To Head

Since Las Palmas earned a return to the top flight in 2015, Real have come through their games with the minnows having not lost in four matches, but that does not tell the whole story.

Last season, Las Palmas held Real to two draws, the first coming at Estadio Gran Canaria in September before Real needed two late goals from Ronaldo to claim a 3-3 draw at the Bernabeu in March.

However, Real have managed to score a remarkable total of 18 goals in just four home fixtures with Las Palmas.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Real Madrid 3-0 Las Palmas

Talk about perfect games at the perfect time. After back-to-back defeats, Real will welcome the chance to host a team who have lost six in a row and it should be plain sailing for the current champions, who could also do with improving their goal difference.



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Gareth Bale during the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on May 28, 2016
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
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15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000

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