Hercules CF vs Real Madrid | Preview
Real Madrid travel to the Jose Rico Perez to face a Hercules team which has done a fair bit of giant killing already this season. Victories against Barcelona at Camp Nou and Sevilla at home and not to forget the draw they mustered against Villareal have made them a potentially dangerous opponents who can pull a surprise to end our current undefeated streak.
Real are coming out of a 0-0 draw in the Copa Del Rey at Murcia where they were if not outplayed at least brought back to ground after a few high flying wins over the past few weeks. Despite the likes of Cristiano and Benzema starting the game Real failed to gain the much needed away goals that generally kills ties.
This will be the second time this season that we will be playing in Alicante following the friendly that we played there a couple of months back. Back then it was a comfortable 3-1 victory with Di Maria getting his first goal for Real and Benzema bagging a brace. A repeat performance would be much appreciated but this time around it will definitely be tougher as the likes of Nelson Valdez and the legendary French striker David Trezeguet have all but strengthened the newly promoted side.
Real are still without the services of Kaka, Gago, Garay and Lass but the much Sergio Ramos is fit and even completed the full game against Murcia without much of a trouble. Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil, Carvalho and Marcelo have all been recalled into the side after being rested midweek. Mourinho has left out Mateos this time around.
REAL MADRID SQUAD LIST:
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Dudek, Adan.
Defenders: Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Albiol, Marcelo, Carvalho.
Midfielders: Khedira, Alonso, Ozil, Diarra, Canales, Granero, Pedro Leon, Di Maria.
Forwards: Benzema, Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mourinho, during yesterday’s post-match press conference said that the starting lineup will change from the one in Murcia and I guess we can expect pretty much the same side that started against Racing last weekday with Sergio Ramos probably coming in for Alvaro Arbeloa.
Sami Khedira, who has become one of the mainstays of the current crop of players at Real analysed the match for Bwin revealing that team-work will be the key to our success at Alicante. He also spoke about his wretched luck with scoring as he has hit the woodwork as man times as anyone else in the side saying:
I’m sure I will score soon. I’ve had chances to but was unlucky. I come closer to netting a strike each day. I’ve analysed my team-mates on the pitch, which will help me score.
He summed up the game as follows:
We know our match against Hercules will be difficult. We faced them in the preseason. They are dangerous and strong in attack. They have Valdez, whom I knew in the Bundesliga, and Trezeguet, who always finds room in which to score.
Talking about Trezeguet, the French World Cup winner, when asked about the game said:
We are prepared mentally and emotionally to face the current best team in Spain. They are in great form. It will be a game to learn from, to see what situation we are in. In the matches agains the great teams we’ve had great games. However, it’s been different against the smaller teams. We are going to try and have a good game at the Rico Perez and obtain a positive result for the team.
It looks as though Vigo’s men will have to do without Royston Drenthe, who is on-loan from Madrid this season and has a clause in the deal which means Hercules will have to stump up a significant fee if they want to play the Dutchman though I am sure about the effect Roy will have on their side even if he plays.
Real Madrid have never lost at Hercules and average atleast two goals everytime they’ve played there. I am confident that the game tonight will be no different.
Para Siempre Blanco!