Real Madrid Femenino: 3 things to watch against Deportivo

Real Madrid, Femenino Olga Carmona (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Femenino Olga Carmona (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid Femenino will be in action this Saturday afternoon, as they will travel to Galicia to face Deportivo de la Coruna on Primera Iberdrola’s Matchday 24.

Let’s take a look at three things to watch this weekend when Las Blancas, who are third in the league, take on the 16th-placed team in Deportivo.

How will Real Madrid bounce back?

Real Madrid suffered a deflating defeat to Levante last weekend. They were up 1-0 at half-time and seemed to be in control of the game. But they gave up a goal to Esther Gonzalez after a defensive error and then lost focus in the very last minute, collapsing to a 2-1 loss after allowing Alba Redondo to get behind the defense and score the matchwinner.

A week before their win over Las Blancas, who are third to their second in Primera Iberdrola, Levante drew 1-1 with league cellar-dwellers Real Betis. So Real Madrid themselves cannot take Saturday’s opposition for granted, especially not on the road. Anyone can get a point from anyone in Primera Iberdrola.

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Let’s see how Real respond from a tough loss in the Champions League battle, especially a last-gasp loss. Those are painful.

Kosovare Asllani and Olga Carmona back in the XI

Olga Carmona did not start against Levante after a controversial red card against Atletico Madrid, and the well-rounded left back was clearly missed by Las Blancas. Marta Corredera started, and while she is a very respected defender in Spanish football, she struggled in that match. And she cannot offer the same width or attacking outlet and chance-creation that Carmona can. So Carmona’s return will be huge.

Meanwhile, attacker Kosovare Asllani returned from an injury as a substitute against Levante, so Matchday 24 could be her return to the starting XI.

Sofia Jakobsson, Marta Cardona, and Jessica Martinez are a talented trio, but Las Blancas just don’t carry the same threat without their leading goal-scorer. It would be awesome to get a full 90 from Asllani.

Deportivo’s incredible Athenea del Castillo

A brilliant 2019 summer signing for Deportivo de la Coruna, forward Athenea del Castillo’s stock has continued to rise the in the 2020-2021 campaign. Just 20 years old, del Castillo has already received her call-up to Spain’s senior side after being part of the U19 championship-winning Spanish squad in 2018.

Real Madrid must make it their priority to focus on del Castillo, who always commands the full attention of any defense. She recently scored a brace in a 3-0 win over Rayo Vallecano to bump up her season tally to six goals, which puts her in second on Deportivo behind fellow Spanish attacker Peke Barea. And del Castillo is also Deportivo’s leading assist-provider with four.

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She isn’t just a player for Madridistas to watch out for as an opponent this Saturday. Perhaps, she could be a future Real Madrid player in her own right. She is one of the most talented young attacking players in all of Europe.