DOCE, DIEZ, SIETE.. ¡CUATRO!
The key to winning the League is to keep stacking up the clean sheets.
Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Cannavaro y Heinze. The Real Madrid defense will have to become a fort in which to win every single point. 10 straight wins and the leaders dropping points have left the League wide open.
December 13. El Clasico. Camp Nou. A 2-0 loss to Barcelona resulted in a 12-point deficit for the Madridistas. Normally, most clubs would give up and immediately concede the title. After all, Barcelona were playing swashbuckling footballing, oozed confidence and were riding a 14-match unbeaten streak - with only 1 defeat from their first 15 games. But Real Madrid is not a normal club. Just like the 06-07 miracle championship under Fabio Capello, Los Blancos once again only needed to remind themselves of their sacred values: never-say-die attitude, extraordinary team spirit and that undeterred, unshakable will to win. 12 points or 120 points, Real Madrid always believes it can win.
Fast-forward 11 weeks later. The lead at the top of the table has been reduced to four points. Juande Ramos has pulled off 10 straight wins, keeping 8 clean sheets in the process, and we enter the final 1/3 of the season with a realistic chance of the three-peat roud: .
Matchday 26: REAL MADRID - Atlético Madrid (03-03-2009)
So.... Atleti, how do you want it?
Matchday 27: Athletic - REAL MADRID (15-03-2009)
Athletic are right bang in midtable but a trip to the Basque Country is never easy for Madrid. Their hostile atmosphere, very physical game and direct, wide football has undone us many, many times over the years at the place they call "La Catedral".
Matchday 28: REAL MADRID - Almería (22-03-2009)
Just like Athletic, Almería are also trawling midtable waters. The loss of Unai Emery as head coach to Valencia was expected to see them battling for survival, but his successor Gonzalo Arconada has steadied the ship and Almería are once again fighting for the European positions. And.... they do, of course, also have one ace up their sleeve: Real Madrid youth team product Alvaro Negredo. 15 goals thus far. Impressive.
Matchday 29: Malaga - REAL MADRID (05-04-2009)
Malaga are going from strength to strength and are level on points with fifth-placed Atletico. This is the one game over the next few weeks we should be worried about the most. A possible CL quarter-final a few days later? Maybe. Titles are won in these stadiums and if the boys are going to take their eye off the ball for a minute it is likely to be here. Dangerous.
Matchday 30: REAL MADRID - Valladolid (12-04-2009)
Pucela are having a typical season one would expect from a team simply not in the same financial league as the top six; inconsistency, struggling to replace injured players
Matchday 31: Huelva - REAL MADRID (19-04-2009)
Improving Recreativo are 13th and one of the form teams in 2009. After a hurrendous first-half of the season they have recovered very well for the segunda vuelta - losing only 1 in 9 since the winter break. This is the oldest club side in Spanish Football and this town is one of the very few that always welcomes Madrid . Another potential banana skin.
Matchday 32: REAL MADRID - Getafe (22-04-2009)
A rare midweek La Liga game. Getafe are another team that have enjoyed changed fortunes since the winter break. They came from two-down to draw 2-2 away to Real Betis two weeks ago, even though Roberto Soldado missed a late penalty. They're playing very well, are creating chances and just lack a little bit efficiency in front of goal. Good thing this game is at the Bernabeu, I say.
Matchday 33: Sevilla vs Real Madrid (26-04-2009)
Sevilla are having another impressive season. At an institutional level, they're the best-run club in Spain, I think. Year after year they depart with star players for an important quantity of money and replace them with rising talent, yet always remaining competitive. They already have one foot in the Copa Final after their 2-1 first-leg win against Athletic - and are sitting pretty in the league in 3rd place. Of course, the financial disparity betweem them and Barca/Madrid means they lack the resources to sustain a realistic title challenge. This match is as difficult as the small matter of El Clasico... our record at the Sanchez Pizjuan since the turn of the millenium is pure ownage.
Matchday 34: REAL MADRID vs Barcelona (03-05-2009)
The game of the year. For the neutrals, it would be a thrilling prospect to find Madrid and Barca within close proximity of each other in the league heading into the classic. They may just get their wish. For me, it is important to head into this game at least a point ahead. To find ourselves in a must-win situation would not be ideal considering we're unlikely to record the 3-0 win needed to swing the head-to-head in our favour.
Matchday 35: Valencia - REAL MADRID (10-05-2009)
I think Valencia are annoying and they're crap.
Matchday 36: Villarreal - REAL MADRID (17-05-2009)
The second trip in as many weeks to the Comunidad Valenciana. Villarreal are a very good team with a world-class coach in Manuel Pellegrini, we beat them 1-0 at the Bernabeu but it was far from easy. This is the last game of the Grand Slam stretch and whoever is 1st place at this point has a fantastic chance to win the league with only two matches remaining.
Matchday 37: REAL MADRID - MALLORCA (24-05-2009)
Enough said. roud:
Matchday 38: Osasuna - REAL MADRID (30-05-2009)
Enough said. roud: