Unchanged Real Madrid begins title defense in Spanish league

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Real Madrid is retaining many of the identical gamers to take a look at to win back-to-back Spanish leagues for the primary time in greater than a decade.

Madrid begins its title defense on Sunday at Real Sociedad with nearly the similar squad that a couple of months in the past lifted its first league trophy in 3 years. It hasn’t received consecutive leagues since 2007-08 as Barcelona has ruled regionally.

The Catalan rival received 8 leagues since Madrid’s final double, together with 3 in a row from 2009-11. Barcelona received two in a row in 2015-16 and 2018-19. Madrid’s different titles in the decade got here in 2012 and 2017.

The league started final weekend however Madrid didn’t play as it won time beyond regulation to relaxation after competing final month in the Champions League spherical of 16. Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, who made it to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, received’t play in the primary two rounds. Europa League winner Sevilla additionally had its first two video games postponed.

Madrid received its best preseason fit on Tuesday towards Getafe.

Coach Zinedine Zidane is sticking to a formulation that makes use of all the squad, and isn’t terrified of switching schemes — he went from techniques that interested in 3 forwards from time to time, or 3 defenders, or even 5 midfielders in some cases.

The major participant who left used to be James Rodríguez, who joined Everton in the English Premier League. Gareth Bale additionally used to be anticipated to depart and used to be just about a switch to Tottenham. But neither Rodríguez nor Bale performed a large function in Madrid’s 34th league title, when the group received 10 instantly fits after the coronavirus damage to overhaul Barcelona for the lead.

Zidane saved the important thing gamers from that run, particularly striker Karim Benzema and defender Sergio Ramos, who blended for 13 targets in the group’s ultimate 11 league fits. Benzema will proceed to be supported through younger Brazilians Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, and in addition, confidently, through an Eden Hazard who received’t need to undergo such a lot of harm issues as he did final season — his first with the membership.

Thibaut Courtois returns because the beginning goalkeeper, and captain Ramos shall be flanked through Raphael Varane once more, with veteran Marcelo and Ferland Mendy exchanging begins in the left again place. Dani Carvajal will most probably get started at proper again, with festival from Álvaro Odriozola after a short lived mortgage to Bayern Munich.

Back from a mortgage to Real Sociedad used to be teen Martin Odegaard, who shall be a midfield strategy to make up for the absence of Rodríguez. The defensive midfield will once more be anchored through the skilled trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Federico Valverde can be used regularly as smartly, whilst Francisco “Isco” Alarcón and Marco Asensio stay to be had as attacking midfielders.

Madrid made some first rate money in the offseason through loaning the likes of proper again Achraf Hakimi to Inter Milan and teen Óscar Rodríguez to Sevilla. Left again Sergio Reguilón is about to transport to Tottenham after a stint with Sevilla.

Young Japan ahead Takefusa Kubo used to be loaned to Villarreal, whilst Reinier will play with Borussia Dortmund, and Brahim Diaz with AC Milan. Defender Jesús Vallejo shall be loaned to Granada, and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola returned to Paris Saint-Germain after a season with Madrid.

OTHER MATCHES

Villarreal and trainer Unai Emery will host Eibar on Saturday, whilst Real Betis and Manuel Pellegrini will welcome Valladolid on Sunday. Huesca and Cádiz will meet on Sunday in a matchup of promoted golf equipment.

SCHEDULING DISPUTE

For the second one weekend in a row the league needed to trade the unique agenda as a result of a dispute with the Spanish football federation over video games on Fridays and Mondays. Friday’s fit between Getafe and Osasuna used to be moved to Saturday, whilst Monday’s recreation between Real Betis and Valladolid used to be moved to Sunday. Two second-division fits additionally had been rescheduled.

All fits will proceed to be performed with out fanatics.

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