Real Madrid need only a point to return to the top of the La Liga table.
Mark Sochon previews their trip to Getafe on Thursday evening and offers up his two Best Bets from the match, live on Viaplay Sports 1, with a kick-off time set for 20:00...
Real Madrid make the short trip to Getafe on Thursday night in La Liga. This is their game in hand on leaders Girona and Los Blancos only need a point to retake top spot.
Jude Bellingham struck a 95th minute winner when these sides met at the Santiago Bernabeu back in September. He’s available again after suspension for a game which is expected to see the very rare occurrence of two Englishmen on opposing sides in a Spanish top flight match, with Mason Greenwood also enjoying a good season at Getafe.
Greenwood scored the opening goal on Monday night as Getafe beat struggling Granada 2-0 at home. They’ve not lost a league game at the Estadio Coliseum since boss Jose Bordalas returned to the club last April, with Getafe’s only home defeat this season coming in a fixture they were forced to play on neutral territory against Rayo Vallecano.
That record is a really impressive one given they were in real danger of going down when Bordalas, who took Getafe into Europe during his first spell, agreed to return last year.
His second stint at the Coliseum has been much like the first. They play a rigid 4-4-2 and are by no means afraid to take a physical approach when it comes to stopping opposition teams. Their disciplinary record is by some distance the worst in La Liga with 79 yellow cards and 9 reds already this season.
Their style of football is effective though, particularly at home and the recent head-to-head record between Getafe and Real Madrid on this ground gives punters plenty of food for thought. Real Madrid have failed to score on three of their last five visits to the Coliseum. The most recent meetings ended with a 0-0 draw in 2021 and a 1-0 win for each team in 2022.
Carlo Ancelotti will have a very good idea of what to expect from Getafe. He’ll be expecting a battle and a tight game but will be hoping his team can keep doing what they’ve been doing in recent weeks, which is finding a way to get over the line.
Real Madrid have won their last five league games, although all of the last four have been by margins of just one goal. They’ve needed to come from behind to win against Almeria and Las Palmas over the past fortnight and those last four wins have come courtesy of 92nd, 78th, 99th and 84th minute winners.
Alaves, Mallorca, Almeria and Las Palmas were the opponents in those games but things are about to get tougher for Real Madrid with Atletico and Girona visiting the Santiago Bernabeu on successive weekends after this tricky trip to neighbours Getafe.
The club has so far opted against bringing in any players in January despite the long-term absences of central defenders Eder Militao and David Alaba. That’s a bit of a surprise with 34-year-old Nacho not looking as assured as he has in recent years when he’s frequently stepped into the backline and done a steady job.
Ancelotti’s chopping and changing in goal with Kepa and Andriy Lunin constantly rotating may not be helping things either. While we shouldn’t expect Getafe to throw much caution to the wind in this game, they’ll fancy they can cause one or two problems for this Real Madrid defence and they have one of the form strikers in La Liga with Borja Mayoral the division’s joint top scorer along with Jude Bellingham and Artem Dovbyk on 14 goals.
The good news for Real Madrid is that they have no fresh injuries, with long-term absentees Thibaut Courtois, David Alaba and Eder Militao the only men on the sidelines.
Such is their depth in midfield, Ancelotti may change all four central players for this game with Jude Bellingham returning from suspension while Luka Modric, Fede Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni could all rotate into the eleven.
The Italian will have one eye on Sunday’s Madrid derby against Atleti, so it’s possible that the likes of Rodrygo and Dani Carvajal could also be rested with both heavily involved over the past month.
Getafe will also make changes following their Monday night victory. Luis Milla, Jose Angel Carmona and Damian Suarez are all available again after suspension with at least two of those players likely to return to the eleven. Long-term absentee Mauro Arambarri and new signing Ilaix Moriba are their only injured players.
Despite their strong home record, you can back Getafe at 11/2 to win this game with Real Madrid clear favourites at 8/15. The Draw is priced at 3/1.
The recent history of this fixture is very low scoring and you can take your pick between backing Over 2.5 Goals at 5/6 and Under 2.5 Goals at 5/6 for this derby clash between two of the four teams in La Liga from the Madrid area.
Ancelotti’s team have won 81% of their league fixtures this term and you can back Real Madrid and Over 2.5 Goals at 7/5 while Real Madrid and Both Teams to Score is priced at 12/5. Both have been winning bets in three of their last four games in all competitions.
Jude Bellingham is 9/2 to score first and 6/4 to score anytime in this match, with Vinicius Junior available at the same prices. On the opposing side, in-form Borja Mayoral is 12/5 to score anytime against his old club while you can back Mason Greenwood to score anytime at 4/1.
Bet 1 - Under 3.5 Goals & Over 49.5 Booking Points @ 10/11
Real Madrid’s recent games have been quite entertaining and open but Getafe will offer a very different kind of test to some of their recent opponents.
While there is a genuine goal threat in their team, Bordalas will most likely try to stifle Real Madrid and slow the game down and it’s worth noting that there have been under 2.5 goals in 80% of their home league fixtures this term.
With meetings between the clubs generally producing few goals and Getafe having the worst disciplinary record in the division, I’m using the #PickYourPunt tool to back Under 3.5 Goals and Over 49.5 Booking Points at 10/11.
Bet 2 - 2nd Half Result - Real Madrid @ 5/6
Real Madrid were short on numbers around the turn of the year, but with just three players out now, their bench has looked incredibly strong in recent games. That’s played a big role in their ability to come from behind and strike late in recent games and they’ve won the 2nd Half in each of their last five league games.
Assuming we do see the expected rotation from the weekend lineup, Real Madrid could potentially have the likes of Toni Kroos, Dani Carvajal, Eduardo Camavinga and Brahim Diaz to bring on in the Second Half of this game. Bringing on such quality against what may be a tiring Getafe side playing their second match of the week, could be decisive after the interval and I’m backing 2nd Half Result - Real Madrid at 5/6.
You can check out Mark's La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Betfred Insights Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...