By 90Min
February 16, 2019

Real Madrid return to La Liga action after their Champions League exploits, looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Barcelona when they take on Girona on Sunday.

Los Blancos secured a 2-1 win over Ajax in the first leg of their last 16 tie thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, handing them the advantage ahead of the second leg in March.

Santiago Solari's side leapfrogged Atletico Madrid in their last league outing after their 3-1 triumph at the Wanda Metropolitano saw them overtake their bitter rivals and take second place in La Liga.

Here's 90min's preview of everything you need to know ahead of Sunday's encounter.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Sunday 17 February
What Time Is Kick Off? 11:00 (GMT)
Where Is It Played? Santiago Bernabeu
TV Channel/ Live Stream? Eleven Sports 1 UK
Referee? TBC


Team News

The hosts have a couple of selection headaches ahead of this one, with Luka Modric ruled out through suspension and Raphael Varane unlikely to feature after missing training late on in the week.

Luka Modric

Los Blancos will be definitely be without Marcos Llorente and Luca Zidane, with both youngsters out injured for Madrid, while Isco remains a doubt with a back complaint.


Girona meanwhile are set to be without a whole host of first team regulars for their trip to the Bernabeu. Johan Mojica, Aday, Patrick Roberts, Seydou Doumbia and Marc Muniesa will all miss out on the trip to the capital. Furthermore, Bernardo Espinosa received a red card in their recent outing against Huesca, leaving the central defender suspended for the match.


Predicted Lineups

Real Madrid Courtois; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo, Ceballos , Kroos, Casemiro; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Girona Bono; Juanpe, Ramalho, Garcia, Porro, Garcia, Pere Pons, Fernandez, Portu, Garcia, Stuani



Head to Head Record

The previous five encounters between the sides have produced a staggering 26 goals, ten of which came in the two-legged Copa del Rey quarter final matches between the sides a few weeks ago.

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Girona have a track record of being able to score against the hosts, netting in each of the last five meetings against Madrid, yet their only three point scalp came in the first ever meeting between the sides back in late 2017. Since then it has been goals galore as Los Blancos rarely falter against the Catalan side.


Recent Form

It has been something of a revolution under Solari since the Argentine took the reins, with the club currently on an unbeaten run of eight matches. A win in the Champions League over Ajax was preceded by an impressive 3-1 success away at bitter rivals Atletico, a result that lifted them into second in La Liga at the expense of Los Rojiblancos.

Sitting just six points adrift of league leaders Barcelona, Madrid have found their magic touch, with the likes of Karim Benzema in fine goal scoring form ahead of the visit of the league's 17th place side.

On the other hand Girona find themselves in free fall. The club have lost their last six matches in all competitions, a slide which has seen them fall perilously close to the La Liga relegation zone.

Their most recent outing was a demoralising 2-0 home defeat to basement club Huesca, with Eusebio Sacristan's side in dire need of crucial points on Sunday.

Here is how each team has performed in their last five matches.

Real Madrid Girona
Ajax 1-2 Real Madrid (13/2) Girona 0-2 Huesca (09/2)
Atletico Madrid 1-3 Real Madrid (9/2) Eibar 3-0 Girona (03/2)
Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (6/2) Girona 1-3 Real Madrid (31/1)
Real Madrid 3-0 Alaves (3/2) Girona 0-2 Barcelona (27/1)
Girona 1-3 Real Madrid (31/1) Real Madrid 4-2 Girona (24/1)


Prediction

On one hand you have a team unbeaten in their last eight matches, including Champions League scalps, an away victory at Atletico and a credible draw at Camp Nou. While on the other hand, you have a team staring down the barrel of potentially a seventh straight defeat.

Karim Benzema

The odds are stacked somewhat in the favour of the hosts on this one, who will be beaming with confidence after their last three results, and on home turf anything other than a comfortable victory would be deemed disappointing.


No shocks here.

Prediction: Real Madrid 4-0 Girona

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