Real Madrid: 3 predictions for Matchday 16 at Elche

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will record another clean sheet

Real Madrid shut down Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Atletico Madrid, but they allowed goals to both Athletic Club and Eibar. The goal Eibar scored was an unstoppable curler from forward Kike Garcia, but they did look vulnerable at other times in the match. Against Granada, Real were back in the clean sheet column, but they were honestly lucky Raphael Varane did not get punished for his giveaways.

Elche struggle offensively, which comes as no surprise. Only Cadiz and Eibar, who both scored a goal against Real Madrid this season, have found the back of the net fewer times in 2020-2021 than Elche. Like Eibar, Elche come into this match with no player having scored more than three times, as Fidel and Lucas Boye are the scoring leaders.

So I am optimistic that Real Madrid will make it back-to-back clean sheets again. The biggest reason for my optimism is fitness. Granada had their chances, but the biggest reason why Eibar and Granada looked dangerous offensively was that Real Madrid seemed tired mentally and physically. They fought and won anyway, which is awesome and shows the resiliency of this title-caliber team, but they were clearly tired.

Next. The 5 biggest questions for Real Madrid in 2021. dark

Next Wednesday at Elche, Real Madrid will have their first full week of rest in ages. Los Blancos will be expected to deliver a thoroughly professional display on the road, and I believe that will include a clean sheet.