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Getafe have struggled for goals of late and Zidane’s side know how to grind out wins.
Real Madrid to win to nil (+138)
|Getafe vs Real Madrid Information|
|What||Getafe vs Real Madrid|
|Where||Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Madrid, Spain|
|When||Sunday, 18 April 2021, 2.50 PM EDT|
|How to watch||beIN SPORTS|
Zinedine Zidane has come back from the brink. The Frenchman was under significant pressure earlier this season, with Madrid off the pace in every competition they had entered. Now, as the finish line comes into sight, los Blancos are in an enviable position in both the Champions League and La Liga.
A clean sheet at Anfield on Wednesday secured their place in the semi-finals of Europe’s foremost competition, and we can expect Madrid to also shut out Getafe on Sunday. Back an away win to nil.
Zidane the manager could be on the brink of his best season yet. That might sound strange for a coach who has already lifted two La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, but it feels as if the Frenchman is only just beginning to be regarded as one of the best managers around.
Zidane’s previous successes tended to be attributed to the star-studded squad at his disposal, particularly as Real Madrid did not have a clearly defined style of play on their way to European glory in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Zidane did guide a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Madrid to the La Liga crown last term, but a last-16 elimination from the Champions League was a disappointment for a club that, more than any other, defines itself on continental conquests.
Needless to say, no one in the white half of the Spanish capital will be getting carried away just yet. Madrid was thoroughly impressive in their 3-1 aggregate victory over Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals and will fancy their chances of reaching the fifth final in eight years by beating Chelsea in the last four. Yet even if they do overcome the Blues, a meeting with Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain in Istanbul will be far from straightforward.
In La Liga, meanwhile, there is still plenty of soccer to be played, and Madrid are not even top going into the weekend. Yet the momentum seems to be with the boys from the Bernabeu, who beat Barcelona 2-1 in the final Clasico of the campaign last time out. Madrid is hitting form at just right the time, and they now hold the head-to-head advantage over both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Zidane has the double in his sights, and victory over Getafe this weekend would only strengthen the suggestion that Madrid is now the team to beat in the La Liga title race.
In previous seasons, a trip to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez would be viewed as a potential banana skin by those with championship aspirations. Since promotion back to the top tier in 2017, Getafe has finished eighth twice and fifth once. They earned a reputation for being difficult to play against, with their aggression, intensity, and work ethic helping the club punch above its weight.
This term, though, has brought a reversion to the mean, with Jose Bordalas’ side battling to avoid relegation rather than fighting to qualify for European competition. Going into the weekend, Getafe are three places and four points above the bottom three. That is largely the result of a poor record in 2021. At the midway point of the campaign, Getafe sat 10th in the table having just registered back-to-back victories over Elche and Huesca. Since then, however, they have managed just one win in 12 matches, although they did creditably hold Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw.
For the most part, however, Getafe have been disappointing, with Bordalas’ side perhaps more adversely affected by the absence of supporters than other teams in the division. Their results at home – the Alfonso Perez is usually a fortress for the club from Madrid’s suburbs – have only been the 13th best in La Liga this time, while no team has collected fewer points on the road. Scoring goals has been a particular problem, regardless of venue.
Scoring goals has been a particular problem for Getafe this season. They have managed just 22 in their 30 La Liga outings so far, which is the joint-worst record in the division. Getafe are still adept at keeping things tight at the back – especially compared to the teams around them in the table – but there is little evidence to suggest they will be able to breach Madrid’s backline this weekend, even if Zidane will again be without Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal.
Madrid are coming on strong as the finish line comes into sight, and one thing this team cannot be criticized for is the lack of a winning mentality. Zidane’s side are certainly not guaranteed to win the La Liga title, but it would be a surprise if they completely threw away the promising position they have got themselves into. When it comes to finding the way to get the job done, regardless of style or aesthetics, Madrid are still the kings.
For that reason, together with Getafe’s poor record in front of goal, an away win to nil looks like the best bet here – particularly at generous odds of +138.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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