Real Madrid vs Alaves - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Real Madrid’s lead will probably have been cut to one point by the time of kick-off
- Zinedine Zidane’s side has been prioritising clean sheets during the run-in and that will not change
- Alaves is not yet safe from relegation and must arrest its dramatic slump
|What||Real Madrid vs Alaves|
|Where||Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain|
|When||Friday, 10 July 2020, 4 PM EST|
|How to watch||beIN SPORTS|
The La Liga title is within touching distance for Real Madrid. True, its lead at the summit of the standings will be reduced to a single point if Barcelona beats Espanyol, the team propping up the division, on Wednesday. But Zinedine Zidane’s men will reestablish its four-point cushion provided it triumphs over Alaves at the Santiago Bernabeu. Moreover, its head-to-head advantage means the lead is in effect five points. It would take a huge collapse for Madrid to fall short now.
That cannot be completely ruled out, of course; soccer is a funny old game and upcoming clashes with Granada and Villarreal might not be entirely straightforward. With that in mind, anything less than three points against Alaves would blow the race wide open once more, and Madrid will thus go about its task with a degree of caution at the Santiago Bernabeu.
When los Blancos last won the title in 2016/17 – Zidane was also at the helm back then, in his first spell on the bench – the team scored 106 goals in 38 matches, which works out as an average of 2.79 per game. Barcelona, the runner-up that year, found the net 116 times and also conceded fewer goals than Madrid, but the latter’s triumph was down to a prolific attack that featured Cristiano Ronaldo as its focal point.
That is not the case this time around. Madrid has notched just 62 goals in its 34 encounters to date, an average of 1.82 per outing. Yet its defensive record of 0.62 goals conceded per game compares favourably to its 2016/17 rate of 1.08. With just a handful of matches left, Madrid’s defense looks set to carry the club to a record-extending 34th title.
Real Madrid vs Alaves Odds
|Real Madrid/Real Madrid||-149|
Odds taken from BetMGM
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Madrid’s recent winning streak has propelled it to within touching distance of glory, but it has not been blowing opponents away for the most part. Only one of its last five wins did not come by a single-goal margin, and that 2-0 defeat of Real Mallorca was hardly a blow-out.
Madrid will bide its time on Friday rather than adopting a gung-ho approach from the first whistle. With Alaves likely to pack men behind the ball, the Tie/Real Madrid option in the half-time/full-time market looks attractive.
Madrid’s Backline Is the Key to Its Position at This Late Stage of Season
It is easy to forget now that Madrid lost its last game prior to the lockdown. In fact, although it beat Barcelona 2-0 on March 1, that was Zidane’s side’s only success in its four outings before La Liga was put on hold. Losses to Levante and Real Betis, as well as a disappointing 2-2 home draw with Celta Vigo, left Madrid two points behind Barcelona at that stage of the campaign.
It was always going to be interesting to observe whether managers had come up with a new approach during the three-month hiatus, and Zidane’s seems to have been a back-to-basics game plan. Granted, Madrid had conceded just 19 goals in its first 27 games while scoring 14 fewer than Barcelona, but it has been notable the extent to which it has focused on clean sheets since last month.
Madrid’s backline has not been breached in 367 minutes of action, with four clean sheets on the trot. It has become difficult to score against Zidane’s side, and that is the primary reason why it is the champion-elect.
Alaves Still Not Guaranteed to Be Participating in La Liga Next Term
Alaves should have been safe from relegation a while ago, but a dismal run means it is still not mathematically secure. Juan Miniz was appointed as the club’s interim manager earlier this week following the dismissal of Asiter Garitano, who oversaw a run of five straight losses that has kept the team stuck on 35 points for some time.
Alaves must have thought it was safe when it reached that tally on matchday 29, but relegation remains a possibility – albeit an unlikely one given its six-point cushion above the drop zone. Miniz will instruct his players to keep things tight on Friday, but the best he can hope for is probably a goalless first half.
Madrid Has Not Been the Quickest of Starters in Its Recent Matches
Despite its flawless record since the return of La Liga, Madrid has rarely come flying out of the traps. It has failed to score in the first half of three of its seven games in that time, and in another it only drew first blood on the stroke of the interval.
Madrid has had to remain patient in recent times, particularly in its last two wins against Getafe and Athletic Club. Second-half penalties from Sergio Ramos settled both contests, and Madrid may again have to wait until after half-time to strike here.
Take the Tie/Real Madrid option here – the host will surely emerge victorious but it may have to wait until the second period to break the deadlock.