Real Madrid got off to a winning start in La Liga under new boss Julen Lopetegui but face a testing trip to Girona on Sunday night, and will be wary of avoiding a repeat of their shock 2-1 defeat at the Montilivi from last season. The visitors are strong favourites to win the clash but there is once again potential for an upset.
Where and when: Estadi Municipal de Montilivi, Girona – 26 August, kick-off 21:15
Where you can see Girona vs. Real Madrid: William Hill, Eleven Sports
Last time: The two clubs played out a goal-fest in March with Real Madrid running out 6-3 winners in Madrid, thanks to four goals from Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the two’s side first meeting at the Montili last October brought about a 2-1 victory for the Catalan side.
|Girona ‘double chance’||2/1||Offer|
|Under 2.5 goals||31/20||Offer|
|Cristhian Stuani anytime scorer||37/13||Offer|
Girona vs. Real Madrid Predictions and Preview
It is a sign of how far Girona have come in the past year that a scoreless draw at home to Valladolid was viewed as a surprise result on the opening day for the side who pushed for Europe last season.
Pablo Machin joined Sevilla over summer and has been replaced by former Real Sociedad boss Eusebio Sacristan, with the club hopeful of yet more exploits this campaign.
Julen Lopetegui’s task at Real Madrid is to improve domestic form and whilst a 2-0 opening day win over Getafe was routine, this is exactly the sort of task in which they came unstuck last season.
That being said, the European champions are favourites to win this tie at odds of 2/5, while a surprise home win is priced at 8/1 with the draw available at 4/1.
Girona will hope their defensive resilience and disciplined tactics can frustrate Madrid – for whom goals may be a concern this season. Under 2.5 goals is available at 31/20 while fewer than 1.5 goals is at 22/5.
However, these games did produce goals last time out – 12 across the two games – so over 2.5 goals may appear to offer value at 1/2.
A ‘double chance’ on Girona to battle their way to either a draw or a win is available at 2/1 while a Real Madrid win/draw outcome is at 1/14.
If you fancy the visitors to be leading at both half-time and at the final whistle, such odds are available at 21/20 while they are priced at 6/4 to win to nil.
One to watch for Girona: Uruguayan international striker Cristhian Stuani netted 21 league goals last season including three in his two outings against the European champions. He is priced at 37/13 to score anytime here.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Gareth Bale has eight goals in his last eight games for Madrid including in the opening day 2-0 victory over Getafe. He is now the club’s main source of goals and is available at 3/4 to score at any point in this game.
Long shot: Girona played out a drab scoreless draw with Valladolid on the opening day while Madrid no longer have Cristiano Ronaldo, with doubts that a lack of a cutting edge may cost them this campaign. A scoreless draw in this game is available at odds of 20/1.