Alaves vs Real Madrid match preview and predictions for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as Carlo Ancelotti begins his second spell in charge of Real Madrid
|Saturday 14th August 2021
|22:00 (local time)
Alaves vs Real Madrid Preview
Real Madrid kick off life back under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti on Saturday night with a late clash against Alaves in Vitoria. It has been a summer of change for Los Blancos with the iconic figures of Zinedine Zidane and Sergio Ramos both departing, but they do still start the season as the bookies’ favourites to win LaLiga.
Alaves will be hoping to cast early doubt on that. They again narrowly beat relegation last season with Javi Calleja coming in and doing a good job in steering them to survival late on. He didn’t appear a natural fit for the kind of players Alaves had in their squad but it was a gamble that paid off and he will approach the 2021/22 season with a host of new, younger players, who may more fit the profile of what you’d expect from a Calleja team.
23 year old midfielder Manu García who joins from Sporting Gijon is perhaps their most notable addition. Facundo Pellistri is also back on loan from Manchester United and with a number of other free transfers and loan arrivals, the Alaves squad has a very different feel to it this season, although the starting XI may still look familiar, initially at least.
Real Madrid meanwhile travel north without Toni Kroos or Ferland Mendy which will add to the feeling that this really is the start of a new era, post Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane. We’ll get the first glimpses of what is expected to be a new central defensive pairing between David Alaba and Éder Militão, and they’ll be hoping for a clean sheet to mark the start of what has the potential to be a successful partnership.
Alaba is the only new arrival at Madrid this summer besides the coach but they do have a number of loanees back. Carlo Ancelotti’s first starting XI will be intriguing to see and he has many big decisions to make, particularly in the wide areas. Eden Hazard is into his third season now in Madrid and will be eager to make a fresh start, but the same could be said of a number of Madrid players with the likes of Gareth Bale, Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard also back at the club.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Real Madrid Wins, 2 Alaves Wins.
- Real Madrid won 4-1 in the last meeting, which was in Vitoria in January.
- However the Basques were surprise 2-1 winners in Madrid last season.
- Real Madrid have won on 5 of their last 6 league visits to Mendi, but did lose 1-0 here in 2018.
Alaves are expected to be at full strength for this game. Calleja is likely to go 4-2-3-1 with Joselu and Lucas Perez competing for a start up front.
Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos and Dani Ceballos are all out injured for Los Blancos. Dani Carvajal is also a doubt.
Predicted Alaves Starting Lineup:
Pacheco – Duarte, Lejeune, Laguardia, Martin – Pons, Pina – Rioja, Garcia, Mendez – Joselu (4-2-3-1)
Predicted Real Madrid Starting Lineup:
Courtois – Marcelo, Militão, Alaba, Vazquez – Modric, Casemiro, Valverde – Bale, Benzema, Rodrygo (4-3-3)
Alaves vs Real Madrid Predictions
Score Prediction: Alaves 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid aren’t in perfect shape heading into the new season with a few niggling injuries and players only just back from international tournaments. Joselu is always a handful and one of the most imposing targetmen in the league so it could be a tough start for Madrid’s new central defence but they still have enough quality to see off an Alaves side that is expected to struggle again this year.
Fantasy Football Picks
There had been some talk that Karim Benzema may be a doubt for this game too but it looks as though the Frenchman will start and he’s sure to be Madrid’s main goal threat again. Toni Kroos’ absence also creates an opening for Fede Valverde which he’ll be eager to grab. He has the energy to be a big factor in this game at both ends of the pitch and ought to score well on Sorare.