Madrid, Feb 17 (IANS) Real Madrid aim to carry the euphoria following their 3-1 win over Paris Saint Germain during the Champions League midweek into their La Liga game away against Betis on Sunday night.
Two goals in the last seven minutes gave Zinedine Zidane-coached side a cushion to take to Paris in three weeks, just when it looked as if they were struggling against the French football powerhouse in the first leg of the pre-quaterfinal, reports Xinhua news agency.
Zidane will make at least three changes to his starting 11 at the weekend with Dani Carvajal who was suspended on Wednesday, replacing Nacho Fernandez at right back, while Gareth Bale, surprisingly left on the bench in midweek, is in line for a return.
The Madrid coach will also have to find a replacement or German midfielder Toni Kroos, who will be out of action for at least two weeks after suffering a twisted knee ligament. Matteo Kovacic looks the most likely replacement, although Isco could also keep his place in the team.
Madrid are 17 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona, although they have played a game less and have that game to play against Leganes this coming Tuesday.
Betis were the first side to beat Real Madrid this campaign with a late goal giving them a 1-0 triumph in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
A recent upturn in form has seen them rise to eighth in the table and the side coached by Quique Setien has a good chance of playing in Europe next season, especially if they can eliminate defensive errors.
The team also has a new hero to accompany the veteran, Joaquin Sanchez with young forward Loren Moron netting three goals in his first two appearances for the first team to give Betis wins at home to Villarreal and away to Deportivo la Coruna on Monday night.
It promises to be an open game and one Madrid need to win in order to maintain the ‘feelgood factor’ from midweek.