“Today Realmadrid.com embarks on a passionate adventure and you are invited to take part,” the club stated on its newly-designed website on Thursday. On the pitch, meanwhile, the Spanish giants have been doing remarkably well in 2014 but they are yet to win their first major trophy since lifting the 2012 Spanish Supercup at Barcelona’s expense.
It has been a quiet week for Real Madrid in terms of fixtures while La Liga rivals Barcelona and Atletico engaged in Champions League Last 16 action away from home. Could Los Blancos benefit from their week-long rest and guarantee themselves a massive result this Saturday?
The nine-time European champions have a date with Schalke in Germany next week so Carlo Ancelotti may play his cards safely. No Real Madrid player has featured in more matches than Angel Di Maria this season. The Argentine winger, who was on the brink of quitting the Santiago Bernabeu during the January transfer window, has apparently been reassured by coach Carlo Ancelotti.
With 34 official appearances, Di Maria counts more caps in the 2013/14 club football campaign than Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos and Pepe (33), and Ronaldo (32). Young chap Jese has also seduced Madridistas while Gareth Bale adds to his assists and goals tally anytime he is fit to play. Above all, the biggest news is that Cristiano Ronaldo is back after serving only two-thirds of his three-match ban following the red card he received against Athletic Bilbao.
However, regardless of Real Madrid’s enormous size on paper, Elche will want to create the biggest upset of the year by taking revenge on the 2011/12 La Liga champions. In the first meeting between the two sides this season, visiting side Real Madrid greatly benefited from controversial officiating to win 2-1. Remarkably, Elche have not lost a single match in February and avoiding defeat in the Spanish capital would see them head into March unbeaten; quite an impressive record for a 13th placed side.
Watch Real Madrid vs Elche live on Saturday, February 22, 2014:
In Canada at 10:00 ET on:
|Canada||beIN Sports Play Canada|
In UK at 15:00 GMT on:
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports 3/HD|
In USA 10:00 ET on:
|United States||beIN Sports USA, beIN Sports Play, beIN Sports en Español|
Find worldwide live listings as well as live scores on the Real Madrid-Elche match page.