Deportivo La Coruna host Real Madrid for the first time since being relegated two seasons ago.
One of the toughest venues to play in for Real Madrid, at least historically speaking. Depor promoted to the Spanish first division after spending two seasons in La Liga Adelante. Now, Real Madrid will test their good form showed against FC Basel after two consecutive losses to Real Sociedad and Atlético de Madrid, with this match against Deportivo being a must-win in order to compete for the Liga BBVA title.
FC Barcelona are already 6 points ahead of los blancos in the table, a significant margin if we also consider that Real Madrid are also 4 points behind defending champions Atlético de Madrid. That's the main reason why Ancelotti and his men can't afford to drop any more points in the race for the title.
The Italian coach will not be able to count on Pepe. Ancelotti confirmed that the Portuguese defender needs to sit this match out in order to recover from a niggle. Therefore, Varane has a chance to celebrate his new six-year deal with Real Madrid by starting against Deportivo. Other than that, Dani Carvajal has recovered from his injury as well, but Ancelotti could opt to start either Nacho or Carvajal in the right back position. Not many more changes are expected, so Kroos, Modric and James will likely be in the midfield, even though Isco and Illarramendi are still waiting for a chance to start.
On Deportivo, Real Madrid-loanee José Rodríguez won't be allowed to play. The Galician team have quality, but if Real Madrid play well enough they should not be a problem. It all depends on which version of Ancelotti's Real Madrid show up. If the defensive line step it up while the BBC and the midfield show the necessary consistency to dominate throughout most of the match, Real Madrid should get the three points.
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