After a tumultuous summer, Julen Lopetegui takes charge of his first La Liga match as Real Madrid host Getafe. The former Spain boss was dismissed on the eve of the World Cup after it became known he had agreed a deal with the champions of Europe upon conclusion of the tournament.
Where and when: Santiago Bernabéu – 19 August, kick-off 21:15
Where you can see Real Madrid vs. Getafe: Eleven Sports 1, Eleven Sports Facebook
Last time: Gareth Bale opened the scoring for Los Blancos before Cristiano Ronaldo netted on the stroke of half-time. The Portuguese sealed the points in the second-half after ex-Chelsea striker Loic Remy received his marching orders for two bookings.
|Real Madrid to win 3-0||11/2||Offer|
|Over 2.5 goals||4/9||Offer|
|Away team to win both halves||75/1||Offer|
Real Madrid v Getafe Predictions and Preview
Los Blancos begin life without all-time top scorer Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane after both men announced their departures from the club at the end of the previous campaign. Somewhat surprisingly, the Champions League holders have yet to replace the five time Ballon d’Or winner, with Eden Hazard long mooted to sign for the Spanish giants after a glittering showing in Russia. Neymar and club team-mate Kylian Mbappe were also strongly linked but both men are expected to stay at PSG for at least one more year.
One star who will benefit from the lack of signings is Bale. The Welshman has finally got the opportunity he’s craved since arriving for a then world record fee in 2013. The electric attacker spent the last five years in Ronaldo’s shadow but the onus is now on the Southampton graduate to prove he can be Madrid’s top dog. Bale is 29/10 to open proceedings and looked sharp on tour in America. Fellow forward Karim Benzema remains at the club after much speculation linking him with a move to Italy. The underrated Frenchman remains a key figure, alongside the likes of Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos and Marcelo, and also needs to up his output. Benzema is 15/4 to register first while the hosts are 1/6 to chalk up maximum points.
Opponents Getafe narrowly missed out on European football for the new campaign after finishing eighth last time out. The Azulones are a mighty 16/1 to cause a shock and priced at 28/1 to win 1-0.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Marco Asensio was one of the club’s standout performers in pre-season and should get the nod for the opening clash of the domestic campaign. The young Spaniard is 7/5 to net anytime.
One to watch for Getafe: Angel Rodriguez hit 13 goals in the league last year and will be the visitors’ main threat on the night. The 31-year-old is 21/2 to strike first.
Long shot: The pressure is on this Madrid side to prove they can fill the 50 goal void left by the world’s finest footballer. Both Los Blancos’ biggest rivals have strengthened significantly in the summer and a convincing scoreline and performance is imperative to keep the natives on side. A 4-0 triumph is available at 9/1.