Madrid, Oct 13 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane celebrates his 100th game in charge at the football club, while Cristiano Ronaldo faces his favourite rival when the Liga Santander Champions travel to play Getafe on Saturday.
Zidane’s 100 games have seen him take Madrid to two Champions League titles and last season’s domestic league, but his side travel to the south of the capital 7 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona, who have a difficult game away to Atletico Madrid later in the evening, reports Xinhua news agency.
A win in the Alfonso Perez Coliseum would put the pressure on both Barca and Atletico and give Madrid the chance to close the gap on at least one of their title rivals and Zidane will be able to welcome striker Karim Benzema back into his side.
Benzema has not played since hurting his knee against Levante over a month ago and his absence has coincided with Madrid finding it harder than usual to score goals. Zidane will hope that the Frenchman’s intelligent link up play will bring the best out of other members of the team.
Gareth Bale is still out with a calf injury, while Mateo Kovacic, Dani Carvajal and Keymor Navas are also out, that will see Kiko Casilla get a rare chance in goal, but most eyes are likely to be on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has scored 20 goals in 12 games against Getafe, averaging 1.66 goals a game against Saturday’s rivals, his best numbers against any side in the Liga Santander. The Portuguese international has yet to score in this season’s league and with Benzema back in the side he will be hoping the partnership clicks again as Madrid look for their 13th consecutive game away from home.
Getafe meanwhile have made a solid return to the Liga Santander and promise to mix solid defense with effectiveness from set pieces, something Madrid’s sometimes less than solid defence will have to be aware of.