Real Madrid vs Girona Predictions: Back Jude to keep Going for Goal

 | February 09 | 

7 mins read

mack sochon la liga tips

We have a massive game in La Liga on Saturday teatime as the two top sides meet one another in a live ITV4 match with a 17:30 kick-off time.

As always, our Spanish Football expert is here with his preview and Best Bets as he takes us through his Real Madrid vs Girona Predictions...

Real Madrid vs Girona Betting Tips:

  • Back Real Madrid Over 1.5 & Both Teams to Score @ Evens
  • Back Jade Bellingham 3+ Shots @ 5/6

This is the game that everyone has been waiting for in Spain as the top two face off at the Santiago Bernabeu. It’s too early to be a title decider, but it’s an opportunity for Real Madrid to open up a five point advantage on 2nd placed Girona and cement themselves as very clear favourites to win La Liga.

The good news for UK viewers is that you can catch this game free-to-air on ITV4. With both teams experiencing defensive selection issues, there’s every chance that this will live up to the hype and showcase all that’s good about the best two teams in Spain right now.

It’s the second big league game at the Bernabeu in the space of a week. Real Madrid hosted Atlético Madrid in the derby last time out and while he’d have been disappointed to concede a 93rd minute equaliser, Carlo Ancelotti may well have been content enough with a draw in the circumstances to preserve his team’s two point advantage heading into this game.

He was dealt a couple of major blows before kick-off. Antonio Rudiger failed to shake off an injury picked up in the victory at Getafe three days earlier which meant Real Madrid ended up playing the derby with effectively their fourth and sixth choice options in central defence with the out of form Nacho paired with Dani Carvajal who at five foot eight is by no means a natural centre back.

To make matters worse, Vinicius Junior picked up an injury in the warm-up, forcing Ancelotti into a late change to his starting eleven. As it turned out, his replacement Brahim Diaz was one of the best players on the pitch and opened the scoring in a game that ended 1-1.

The result ended a six game winning streak in La Liga for Los Blancos but they’ve still only lost once in the league this season which was the reverse fixture against Atlético Madrid.

It’s also just one league defeat for Girona, although perhaps ominously from their perspective, that came via a 3-0 margin when they hosted Real Madrid back in September.

Nobody was talking about Girona as potential title candidates at that point though and to their credit Michel’s side quickly bounced back, winning their next six competitive games. They’ve also shown they can deliver in the big games over the past couple of months, stunning Barcelona 4-2 away in December, before beating Atlético Madrid 4-3 in early January.

They’ve taken eight points from four league games since the Atleti win but they felt hugely aggrieved by a controversial VAR call which ruled out what would have been a winning goal in their goalless home draw against Real Sociedad last weekend.

Michel’s furious reaction to the refereeing in that match ensures he’ll serve a touchline ban and won’t be in the dugout for the biggest game of Girona’s season to date.

It’s not really in Girona’s DNA to play conservatively, so he’ll most likely still be sending his team out to play in a positive manner and try to exploit the defensive cracks that currently exist in this Real Madrid side. As well as being the top two, these are also the two highest scoring teams in La Liga with Girona having scored four more goals than their opponents.

Team News:

For the second weekend running, all eyes will be on the Real Madrid teamsheet when it is announced. Barring any late setbacks, both Vinicius Junior and Antonio Rudiger should be fit to start after their respective injury issues over the past week.

Nacho has been ruled out though and with David Alaba and Eder Militao already sidelined, midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni is expected to fill in as the second central defender alongside Rudiger with Carvajal shifting across to his more familiar right back role.

As for Girona, regulars Yangel Herrera and Daley Blind picked up the untimeliest of bookings last weekend, ruling them out of the biggest game of the season. The absence of the experienced Blind is a massive blow as he has marshalled an otherwise young back four very well this term.

With David Lopez also out due to injury, Michel will need to find a new central defensive partner for Eric Garcia in this game with Juanpe and Arnau Martinez the main options. Top scorer Artem Dovbyk was also a minor doubt earlier in the week, but is expected to start.

Real Madrid vs Girona Odds:

While just two points separate the sides in the table, the Match Result odds strongly favour Real Madrid with the home team available at 2/5 to win the game. You can back the Draw at 4/1 while Girona are priced at 6/1.

Given the free-scoring nature of both teams and their respective defensive issues, there is plenty of reason to expect an open game with chances and goals at each end. You can back Both Teams to Score at 8/13. Over 2.5 Goals is available at 4/9 while Over 3.5 Goals is priced at 11/10.

Real Madrid and Both Teams to Score can be backed at 6/4 while you can get Real Madrid and Over 2.5 Goals at 5/6. If you see the underdogs continuing their remarkable season by getting a result at the Bernabeu, Draw or Girona Double Chance is on offer at 7/4.

The game features joint La Liga top scorers Jude Bellingham and Artem Dovbyk. Both are on 14 for the season and you can back Bellingham to score anytime at 19/20 here while Dovbyk is 7/4 to score anytime.

Bet 1 - Team Goals - Real Madrid Over 1.5 & Both Teams to Score @ Evens

Much will be made about Real Madrid’s central defensive selection issues, but with less depth, the absence of Girona’s Daley Blind may well end up having an even bigger impact on this game. The former Manchester United man has featured in every single league game so far this term, starting all but one of them, so his suspension couldn’t come at a worse time.

It may leave Eric Garcia and his new partner very exposed to the full force of Real Madrid’s attacking play and it could be a long ninety minutes for the visiting defence. Girona are sure to ask questions of their own though and with all of their best creative and attacking players available, everything points to this game delivering goals.

As a result, I’m using the #PickYourPunt tool to back Team Goals - Real Madrid Over 1.5 and Both Teams to Score at Evens.

Bet 2 - Player Stats - Jude Bellingham 3+ Shots @ 5/6

Only one of Jude Bellingham’s 18 Real Madrid goals has come since the turn of the year which suggests he’s not quite found his range in 2024, but he’s still getting into lots of advanced positions and firing plenty of shots off.

Real Madrid are expected to go with the same midfield that started the derby and that was very much a 4-3-1-2 system with Bellingham playing behind the two forwards in the advanced role that was largely responsible for his free-scoring ways during his early days in Spain.

The Englishman had three shots against Atletico last Sunday, more than any other Real Madrid player with the exception of Rodrygo. In what should be an even more open game, I’m backing Jude Bellingham 3+ Shots at 5/6 here.

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...

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