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Minor doubts, but plenty of optimism as Real began Liga campaign
Photo Credit: Michael Steele, Getty Images

Minor doubts, but plenty of optimism as Real began Liga campaign

Aug 17 2013, 7:46am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Aug 17 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has just a few questions to answer before his side kicks off the new Spanish Primera Liga season at home against Real Betis Sunday.

Madrid, Aug 17 — Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has just a few questions to answer before his side kicks off the new Spanish Primera Liga season at home against Real Betis Sunday. Madrid kick off...

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1 year ago

Minor doubts, but plenty of optimism as Real began Liga campaign

Aug 17 2013, 7:46am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Aug 17 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has just a few questions to answer before his side kicks off the new Spanish Primera Liga season at home against Real Betis Sunday.

Madrid, Aug 17 — Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has just a few questions to answer before his side kicks off the new Spanish Primera Liga season at home against Real Betis Sunday.

Madrid kick off the campaign as favourites for the title, despite ending last season 15 points behind their only realistic rival for the league, FC Barcelona, reports Xinhua.

Another summer of big spending with the arrivals of Isco, Asier Illaramendi, Javier Carvajal and Casimiro, with the probable signing of Gareth Bale on the horizon, whether the club actually need him or not, has left Madrid with a powerful and balanced squad, which currently looks better prepared to face the rigours of a long campaign than that of Barca.

The optimism was confirmed over a successful summer tour in which Ancelotti was able to mix good training sessions with tough workouts against powerful rivals such as Everton, Chelsea and Inter Milan and the fact they were unbeaten gives yet more grounds for optimism.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the star of the summer and despite doubts over when or whether he will actually sign a new contract with the club, the Portuguese ace is a guarantee of goals, while Isco showed he is going to be worth the 30 million euros the club paid to bring him from Malaga.

Other questions hang over the fitness of Xabi Alonso, who has struggled with a pelvic injury.

Ancelotti has wealth of options in midfield with Sami Khedira, Alonso, Casimiro and Luka Modric battling for two places and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod, especially as the Italian is trying to introduce a game more based on possession than the rapid counter-attack favoured by Mourinho.

An injury to his meniscus ligament which could well keep him out until Christmas means Rafael Varene is sidelined and Pepe will partner Sergio Ramos in central defence, while the debate at the back is whether Carvajal or Alvaro Arbeloa will play at right back.

Up front Karim Benzema, now without the competition from the departed Gonzalo Higuain, has the job of scoring the goals, while Ronaldo is a shoe-in on the left off the attack. That leaves one place up for grabs and it will be disputed between Angel De Maria and Mesut Ozil.

The probable arrival of Bale will further complicate the first team future of both of these players and there is a chance that whoever misses out may look for a transfer before the end of the month, with Manchester United especially interested in Ozil.

Betis meanwhile travel to Madrid after a summer which has seen key players leave the club and the revolving door has seen 10 arrivals and a further 10 departures so coach Pepe Mel will present a totally new-look side at the Bernabeu.

The pre-season, which included a 0-3 defeat to Hull City last weekend suggests they will need time to gel as a side, but one thing is certain, Mel's sides always look to attack and that means a 0-0 is very unlikely this Sunday.


Source: IANS


14 minutes ago

Ronaldo scores 4 to lead Real Madrid over Elche

Sep 23 2014 3:09pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

MADRID, Spain — Cristiano Ronaldo made amends for conceding a penalty by scoring four times as he led Real Madrid to a 5-1 rout of Elche in the Spanish league on Tuesday. Ronaldo fouled Pedro Mosquera while disputing a ball in the box in the 15th minute, allowing Edu Albacar to stroke the penalty beyond goalkeeper Keylor Navas — who was making his debut for Madrid. But Gareth Bale levelled four minutes later, and Marcelo’s questionable penalty when he appeared to dive sent Ronaldo to the penal ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca


31 minutes ago

Real Madrid vs. Elche: Final score 5-1, Cristiano Ronaldo scores four times as Madrid rolls

Sep 23 2014 2:51pm CDT | Source: SBNation

Ronaldo's second hat-trick -- he scored four goals in all -- in as many games helped Madrid power past Elche. Credit Elche for coming out and challenging Real Madrid from the opening whistle on Wednesday. Their pressure on the Madrid defense earned them and early penalty and lead, possibly even the belief they could pull off an upset. Those feelings were short lived though as Madrid powered back with three first half goals to take a lead they wouldn't s ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation


4 hours ago

European Team of the Week

Sep 23 2014 11:17am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Cristiano Ronaldo is WhoScored.com’s European player of the week. The Portuguese was at his dominant best when Real Madrid travelled to the Estadio Riazor at the weekend, netting a hat-trick in Los Blancos’ 8-2 thumping of Deportivo de La Coruna. Injury has perhaps hindered his form this season, but Ronaldo’s performance on Saturday earned him a WhoScored.com rating of 10. Gareth Bale features on the right ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


8 hours ago

What Can Real Madrid Realistically Expect from James Rodriguez This Season?

Sep 23 2014 6:32am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Off the pitch, James Rodriguez hasn't quite had the start to life at Real Madrid he may have imagined when he was unveiled among much fanfare at the Bernabeu earlier this summer.Thousands of fans filled Madrid's famous stadium; the Colombian ambassador gave a rousing, patriotic speech, and Florentino Perez grinned from ear to ear.James had been the star of the World Cup in Brazil, finish ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


12 hours ago

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Southampton could’ve won the league if they didn’t sell [Video]

Sep 23 2014 2:36am CDT | Source: 101 great goals

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was yesterday offering his thoughts on Southampton ahead of their Capital One Cup clash.The legendary French Arsenal manager was waxing lyrical about the Saints set-up.Wenger claims Southampton could’ve been title contenders if they were able to keep their academy graduates.The likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers have all left the So ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals


1 day ago

Real Madrid Step Up Chase To Sign Dutch Wonderkid Ahead Of Manchester United

Sep 22 2014 1:31pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Spanish giants join chase for United target. Real Madrid are the latest club to be linked with a move for exciting PSV winger Memphis Depay, according to Spanish source Fichajes.net. SEE ALSO: Ronaldo Man Utd - poll predicts Ronaldo return Top 10 best free kick takers in the world Neymar's girlfriend situation: hot gallery of stunning old flame Gabriella Lenzi The 20-year-old is one of the most highly rated attacking players in Europe at the moment, having shone in the Eredivisie ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside


1 day ago

Why Liverpool’s Fall From Grace Is Not Surprising

Sep 22 2014 8:26am CDT | Source: Soccerlens

Why Liverpool’s Fall From Grace Is Not Surprising - originally posted on Soccerlens.com When Steven Gerrard’s famous ‘We go again’ cry was belted out by Liverpool fans at the start of the season, 3 losses in the first 5 games was surely something they were not expecting. The Reds were inches away from winning the Premier League last year, their first top-division title since 1989. But unfortunately, a late slip-up meant that it ...
Source: Soccerlens   Full article at: Soccerlens


1 day ago

Real Madrid vs. Elche: Key Issues That Will Shape La Liga Game

Sep 22 2014 7:03am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

After returning to winning ways in La Liga against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday afternoon, Real Madrid welcome Elche to the Bernabeu on Tuesday evening. In 20 visits, Elche have never won a game at Madrid's home ground in Spain's top flight. However, they have mustered three draws, as reported by Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). In the same fixture last season, Los Blancos ran out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Asie ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


1 day ago

Tracking Performances of Real Madrid, Barcelona Superstars After Weekend Sept 21

Sep 21 2014 5:15pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

After another weekend of La Liga action, we continue our regular focus on the star names of Spain's Big Two sides, Real Madrid and Barcelona. The former were in action away to Deportivo La Coruna and racked up a terrific 8-2 win, with the stars of our focus, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, all on the scoresheet. Barcelona played away to bottom-of-the-table Levante and took a little time to get going before racking up a resound ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


2 days ago

Ligue 1 Giants To Hijack Liverpool Bid To Sign Real Madrid Star

Sep 21 2014 7:00am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Ligue 1 big-spenders eye Reds target. Paris Saint-Germain are ready to rival Liverpool for the signing of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, according to Spanish source Fichajes.com. SEE ALSO: Man Utd live streaming vs Leicester City - click here Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United - poll predicts United return for Ronaldo Top 40 hottest female tennis players in the world 2014. The Ligue 1 giants are possibly set to lose Edinson Cavani to Arsenal in ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside


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