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Los Blancos are currently top of the table, three points clear of second-placed Barcelona, while Girona occupy 18th position, having only picked up nine points from their opening 11 matches of the season.

Match preview

Real Madrid players celebrate Federico Valverde's goal against Barcelona on October 16, 2022© Reuters

Real Madrid suffered their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night, with RB Leipzig recording a 3-2 victory in their Champions League affair, and the result means that top spot in Group F is still open heading into the final matchday, but the holders are already through to the knockout round.

Los Blancos will host Celtic next week knowing that a victory would secure first spot in the section, while they have another three league games before the campaign halts for the World Cup, welcoming Girona and Cadiz, in addition to travelling to Rayo Vallecano on November 7.

Carlo Ancelotti‘s side have been almost perfect in La Liga this season, winning 10 and drawing one of their 11 matches to collect 31 points, which has left them three points clear of second-placed Barcelona.

Real Madrid have been victorious in each of their last four La Liga games, including a 3-1 success over Sevilla last weekend, and they have not lost in the league since Atletico Madrid beat them 1-0 at the start of May.

The Whites incredibly lost 2-1 to Girona when the two teams last locked horns at Bernabeu in February 2019, so the champions will be slightly wary of their opponents in this match, and Barcelona could have joined them on 31 points by the time that the game kicks off on Sunday afternoon.

Huesca manager Michel pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Cristhian Stuani and Portu were on the scoresheet when Girona beat Real Madrid in the Spanish capital in the early stages of 2019, while they also enjoyed a 2-1 success over Los Blancos at home in October 2017.

The White and Reds secured a return to the top flight through the Segunda Division playoffs last term, and it does appear that they will be involved in a relegation battle this term.

Indeed, a record of two wins, three draws and six defeats from 11 matches has brought them nine points, which is only enough for 18th position in the table heading into the next set of fixtures.

Michel‘s side have not been victorious in the league since a 2-1 success over Real Valladolid on September 9, losing four of their last six in the league, but they have picked up draws in two of their last three games.

Gironistes shared the points at home to Cadiz on October 15, while they will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw against Osasuna last weekend, with David Lopez netting after Kike Barja had broken the deadlock.

Team News

Karim Benzema in action for Real Madrid on October 5, 2022© Reuters

Real Madrid will be boosted by the returns of Luka ModricFederico ValverdeDani Ceballos and Mariano Diaz for this weekend’s clash with Girona.

Karim Benzema, though, is still on the sidelines with muscular fatigue, and it is unclear when he will be available for selection once again.

Rodrygo had been a slight doubt due to an issue of his own, but he is set to play through the middle, with Vinicius Junior off the left and Valverde from the right.

David AlabaDani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy are also expected to be back in the starting side, with all three left out of the XI against Leipzig as part of Ancelotti’s rotations.

As for Girona, Borja Garcia and Ibrahima Kebe will miss out through knee injuries, while Juanpe remains a major doubt for the contest at Bernabeu due to a leg problem.

Head coach Michel is expected to keep faith with the majority of the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Osasuna last time out.

There could be a change in a wide area, though, with Rodrigo Riquelme potentially coming in for Toni Villa.

Manu Vallejo is set to continue alongside Valentin Castellanos in the final third of the field, with the latter finding the back of the net on two occasions in the league this season; Stuani, though, is also an option in attack.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius

Girona possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; Couto, D Lopez, Bueno, Hernandez; Herrera, Romeu, A Garcia, Riquelme; Vallejo, Castellanos

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