Is Las Palmas for real? Real Madrid test will tell plenty
Las Palmas has been one of the surprise stories of La Liga, and while its undefeated start has given way to a couple of hiccups, Saturday's match vs. Real Madrid (2:45 p.m. ET, Bein Sports) offers a chance to see how legitimate the Canary Islands's club's credentials really are, although both teams will be missing key pieces.
Real Madrid is without the injured Casemiro and Marcelo, while Pepe and Fabio Coentrao will also miss out for Zinedine Zidane's side. Not to worry, as goalkeeper Keylor Navas is available for the first time all season, and the reigning Champions League winner boasts enough depth to cover. Pressure is mounting for the Cristiano Ronaldo-Gareth Bale-Karim Benzema front line to perform up to the elite standard it has set.
Las Palmas isn't as fortunate in the depth department, so making up for the suspension of Kevin-Prince Boateng could either prove to be a hurdle too big to clear or offer a rallying opportunity for an upstart team that still has plenty of doubters. Boateng's 21st-minute red card was a deathblow in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Real Sociedad, but it offered an opportunity for the side to get used to playing without him.
They'll get 90 minutes of that at home against the first-place Blancos, where an attack-first mentality, as manager Quique Setien prefers, could play right into Real Madrid's lethally countering feet.