Alaves will welcome Real Madrid to Estadio de Mendizorroza in the La Liga matchday 1 on Saturday. The kick-off is at 22:00 CEST.
Alaves were lucky enough to avoid relegation to Segunda last season as Javier Calleja's men finished 16th in the 2020/21 La Liga campaign, four points above Huesca who will continue in the tier-two division this term. The Basques went on to win four of their seven pre-season friendlies, including the latest two against Al-Nasr and Levante.
Madrid, for their part, finished as runners-up to their city rivals Atletico last season and now will be looking to fight the La Liga crown back under the guidance of old-new manager Carlo Ancelotti who replaced Zinedine Zidane in the Santiago Bernabeu dugout earlier this summer. The Whites have only played two exhibition fixtures since the Italian's return to the Spanish capital and failed to win in both matches, losing to Rangers 2-1 and drawing AC Milan 0-0 over the weekend.
The hosts have no confirmed absentees ahead of the encounter while Madrid will be without a number of key players on Saturday through respective injury woes, namely Toni Kroos, Ferland Mendy, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola and Dani Ceballos. What's more, Karim Benzema is unlikely to start at Mendizorroza after overcoming Covid-19 lately. Madrid's new boy David Alaba, on the contrary, is in line to make his official debut in this one.
Despite losing their previous head-to-head meeting with Madrid 4-1 on home soil in January, Calleja's side managed to defeat then-Zidane's crop 2-1 in Madrid in November. The Whites haven't really improved much since then, given this summer's departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United respectively, so we can envisage the Basques challenging the Madrid giants for points in their 2021/22 La Liga opener, especially with the likes of Kroos, Mendy and Carvajal on the sidelines.
Both teams to score at 1.91 with 1 XBET.
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