Five reasons not to miss Real Madrid’s visit to Girona fc

Girona FC and Real Madrid will face each other on Tuesday in what is expected to be one of the most entertaining games of the upcoming midweek LaLiga Santander matchday. Los Blancos will travel to Catalonia on the back of a 2-0 victory against RC Celta at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Meanwhile, Los Blanquivermells will take to the Estadi Montilivi pitch in their bid to move one step closer to mathematically securing safety and they’ll aim to return to winning ways following their 1-0 defeat at Real Valladolid on Saturday. Here are five factors that are worth looking out for and that make this one of the top games of Matchday 31.

Two of the finest attacks in LaLiga Santander

No LaLiga Santander side has celebrated more goals than Real Madrid this season. In fact, Los Blancos average more than two goals per match, as they have netted 63 times in 30 games thus far. They also boast the best away attack in the league, with 27 goals in 15 matches on the road. On Tuesday, their defence will be assigned with the task of trying to contain the fourth-best attack in the league. Only Real Madrid (63), FC Barcelona (54) and Atlético de Madrid (47) have netted more goals than Girona FC this campaign, with last year’s LaLiga SmartBank playoff winners receiving plenty of praise for the attacking spectacle they have offered.

Solid at the Montilivi

Only the current LaLiga Santander top four (FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and Real Sociedad) have picked up more points on home soil than Míchel’s men this season and only the top three sides have recorded more home wins than Girona FC (8). When playing in front of their fans, Los Blanquivermells have won five of their seven games in 2023. Their two defeats in this calendar year came against Barça and Atleti, as both teams struggled at the Montilivi but ultimately secured narrow 1-0 victories.

Real Madrid’s kryptonite

Should Girona FC avoid defeat on Tuesday, they will become just the second team to remain unbeaten after two games against Los Blancos this season. Real Madrid saw Cristhian Stuani net from the spot late in the game to deal Carlo Ancelotti’s side a major blow back in Matchday 12, as Girona FC snatched a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital. In fact, Los Blancos haven’t won either of their last two games against Los Blanquivermells, who secured a 2-1 victory away at Real Madrid in their previous duel back in 2019. The head-to-head record over all five of their LaLiga Santander meetings is two wins each and one draw.

Two friends facing each other

This match will also see two close friends going up against each other. Girona FC centre-back Santiago Bueno and Real Madrid midfielder Fede Valverde maintain a close friendship that goes back more than a decade. Both born in Montevideo in 1998, the two men played alongside each other at the youth ranks of both Peñarol and Uruguay. Bueno then joined FC Barcelona just six months after Valverde moved to arch rivals Real Madrid. “With Fede Valverde, we are friends and we have been playing together since we were 10 years old,” Bueno told El País in Uruguay. “We played for many years together, also in the U20 Uruguay national team. We have a WhatsApp group between us and also with some more friends from that generation. It’s called ‘brothers’.” Back in March, Bueno made his debut with the Uruguay senior side in a 1-1 draw against Japan, with Valverde netting the opener. On Tuesday, the two friends will be rivals on the pitch for 90 minutes.

Miguel Gutiérrez’s opportunity

After taking his first footballing steps at the Getafe CF academy, the Madrid-born left-back Miguel Gutiérrez climbed up the ranks at Real Madrid and made his official debut under Zinedine Zidane in a 3-0 victory over Cádiz CF back in April 2021. Last summer, Gutiérrez joined Girona FC in search of playing time and shined with his performance in his team’s 1-1 draw against Los Blancos earlier this season. Ancelotti even admitted that Real Madrid have been following Gutiérrez’s progress. “He is a player we are evaluating for the future,” the Italian tactician said. “He could come back if he does well.” Hence, Tuesday’s game is a first-class opportunity for the Real Madrid academy product to make his case ahead of a summer transfer window where Los Blancos may move for a left-back.

MG Team

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