By 90Min
March 09, 2018

After easing through to the Champions League quarter finals midweek in Paris, Real Madrid will be looking to reinstate some confidence into their domestic away form despite their apparent distance to league leaders Barcelona.

Real have only managed three wins from nine away ties in La Liga this season, with Zinedine Zidane's side chucking away their title hopes after a string of poor away displays.

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But turning things around won't prove so easy this weekend despite the recent improvement in form -  seven wins in eight games in all competitions - against an Eibar side that, despite the smallest ground in the top flight with the Estadio Ipurua, have managed to come away with maximum points in six of their last nine home outings.

Eibar have claimed the scalps of the four sides currently sitting above them in the table having frequently shown off their winning capabilities often in front of a home crowd.

The Basque country side only losing to the 'Big Three' out of all the top eight sides  - narrowly 1-0 to Atletico Madrid and 2-0 to Barcelona at the Ipurua.

With plenty of resting time between this tie and Los Blanco's next outing Zidane won't feel under pressure to rotate his side, with the priority focus to maintain a grip on their Champions League title.


Eibar only sit two points off the European spots in eighth place and will be more than happy to claim another big home win over the likes of Real and boost their own continental ambitions.

Classic Encounter

Previous encounters between these two sides can understandably not go down as 'classics' but with this weekend's meeting the seventh between the two there has been one occasion previously that those in the Eibar set up will look back on favourably.

With their first meeting in the top flight back in 2014, Real have managed 5 wins from the past six, with one draw in the four years since the very first tie.

Denis Doyle/GettyImages

But Eibar's crowning achievement against Los Blanco's thus far was the 1-1 draw in October 2016 in a close contest in the Santiago Bernabeu.

That day proved an incredibly frustrating one for Zidane's side then - despite having not long been in the hot seat in the capital - with the Basque side taking an early lead on six minutes through Fran Rico.


Inevitably Real struck back ten minutes later through Gareth Bale, but surprisingly to many the little travelling side held out bravely to claim a point from the league giants.

By far the best result an Eibar side has ever claimed against the mighty Real Madrid, but could they achieve greater things on Saturday?

Key Battle

Kike vs Varane

With a side that always plays on the front foot and defenders that constantly push the back line higher it will be crucial for Eibar's own man on form Kike to lead the line and grab at least a goal to pin back such a powerful Madrid side on the road.

With four goals in his last eight Kike will be eagerly searching to impose himself on the Real centre backs and with his sides' ability to frustrate visiting sides, it could potentially prove vital in taking at least a point from the league giants once again.

Team News

The home side will be without a few names on Saturday, with forwards Sergi Enrich (knee) and Fabian Orellana (hamstring) both set to miss the clash, while midfielder Ruben Pena will miss out with a strain too.

Real Madrid on the other hand will have a side that will be close to full strength with midfielders Toni Kroos and Luka Modric likely to return.


Gareth Bale and Isco may be given a chance in the side too with Zidane not feeling the need to rest key names with a decent rest period until their Champions League quarter finals.


Will Real certainly back on song in all competitions - just the one blip against Espanyol a couple of weeks ago - they look set to keep up appearances in the league and keep confidence high, at least for the Champions League hopes.

But Eibar will certainly prove to be no pushovers, as Jose Mendilibar's side are well drilled and successful on their home turf and will be more than willing to test Real's resolve once again on the road.

With Cristiano Ronaldo back on centre stage and goals finding their way back into the side - 22 in their last seven in all competitions - however, it is always hard to bet against such an unbelievably talented and deep Madrid side.

Prediction: Eibar 1-3 Real Madrid

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