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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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49 weeks 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.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
11

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Can Switching to a False 9 Save Isco's Career at Real Madrid?

Jul 29 2014 6:28am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

The departure of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal on deadline day last summer was supposed to perfectly accommodate the arrival of Isco from Malaga, who joined Real Madrid for £26 million last June.  A vastly talented playmaker, the 22-year-old seemed to be a natural fit to occupy the No. 10 role in the centre of Los Blancos' attack.  Little more than 12 months later, however, Isco has seemingly become Real Madrid's equivalent of Cesc Fabregas when at Barcelona, a bit-p ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
10

1 day ago

Manchester United Set To Be Left In The Shade By Mammoth £63m PSG Bid

Jul 28 2014 1:11pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Ligue 1 giants set to wipe out the competition for Angel di Maria. Read more Manchester United transfer news. The transfer tussle between Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain for Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria could be coming to a conclusion, with the Express reporting that the Ligue 1 club are set to blow their rivals out of the water with a huge £63 million bid. The Argentine international surprisingly seems to have become surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu this summer, perha ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
9

1 day ago

Inter Milan vs. Manchester United: How Inter Will Line Up in ICC

Jul 27 2014 9:44pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

The International Champions Cup has started well for Internazionale, as the Italian side recorded a win over Real Madrid on penalties in their opening fixture.  A sensational Gareth Bale goal was cancelled out by a penalty from Argentine young gun Mauro Icardi, before the Italians overcame their Spanish opponents 3-2 in the shootout. The result was the only positive one for Serie A teams in the competition so far, with Roma and Milan losing to Manchester United ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
8

2 days ago

Arsenal Star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Threatens To Steal Number 10 Shirt Off Jack Wilshere

Jul 27 2014 10:24am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Ox challenges Wilsh for coveted no.10 honour. It's that time of year again when many players change squad numbers. A new number can often hint at a new position, if not just an elevation of status. Two years ago, Gareth Bale swapped three for 11 at Tottenham Hotspur and, in doing so, he firmly moved away from his past at left-back and into a much more attacking future. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is currently number 15 at Arsenal, is set to play in a ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
7

2 days ago

Ancelotti expects fresh Bale to be even better

Jul 27 2014 8:16am CDT | Source: Soccerway

Carlo Ancelotti is expecting a fresh Gareth Bale to have an even greater impact for Real Madrid in his second season in Spai ...
Source: Soccerway   Full article at: Soccerway
 

 
Update
5

2 days ago

Inter Milan 1 – Real Madrid 1: Nerazzurri win 3-2 on penalties [Official highlights]

Jul 27 2014 7:43am CDT | Source: 101 great goals

Real Madrid got off to a stunning start at the International Champions Cup as Gareth Bale scored a solo golazo in the 10th minute.  Inter equalised through a Mauro Icardi penalty in the second half, and eventually the match was decided in a penalty shootout. Madrid faltered with their penalties, as Isco and Asier Illarramendi had their penalties saved by Juan Pablo Carrizo before youngster Omar Mascarell placed his effort wide. Mau ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals
 

 
Update
4

2 days ago

Is There Still a Place for Marc Bartra in Luis Enrique's Barcelona Revolution?

Jul 27 2014 1:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Marc Bartra has to be one of the unluckiest members of Barcelona's current squad. As he begins his third season with the first-team squad, not only have the club gone out and bought Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia but rumours are rife that they are ready to acquire more central defenders. Per Mundo Deportivo (via John Drayton of the Daily Mail), Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen is the latest to be linked with a switch to Camp Nou. The 23-year- ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
3

2 days ago

Man United to Launch Club Record £45m Bid for Real Madrid Winger Angel Di Maria

Jul 26 2014 5:52pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Old Trafford side continue to pursue Bernabeu star. Check in to Manchester United vs Swansea City Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal is clearly keen to land Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria with the Daily Star claiming that Man United are lining up a club record £45m bid for the Argentine international. Read more Manchester United FC news. Given that Real Madrid have spent big money to bring in James Rodriguez and ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
2

3 days ago

Real Madrid & Barcelona: Comparison Of El Clasico Attacking Players With £138m New-Boys

Jul 26 2014 12:31pm CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

A statistical look at the two best attacks in the world. Check in to Real Madrid vs Cordoba With La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona continuing their fierce rivalry and mammoth spending in the transfer market again this summer, CaughtOffside takes a look at the statistical performances of their attacking players, which have both been widely hailed as the best two in the world. While Real M ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
1

3 days ago

David Beckham visits Real Madrid training, chats with Gareth Bale & Xabi Alonso [Video]

Jul 26 2014 11:17am CDT | Source: 101 great goals

Real Madrid had a surprise guest at their LA training camp yesterday, as old boy and former Galactico David Beckham dropped by to say hello. Still living in the LA since retiring from football, and working on his future Miami MLS franchise, Becks came by with his three sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz. Beckham checked out training and chatted casually with Xabi Alonso, and fellow Brit Abroad Gareth Bale. It’s hard to make out w ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals
 

 

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