Real Madrid v Girona: La Liga – live

<gu-island name="KeyEventsCarousel" priority="feature" deferuntil="visible" props="{"keyEvents":[{"id":"65c377998f080dbfe0e9b433","elements":[{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

One of the great, and increasingly rare, joys of league football is seeing a team emerge from the middle of the pack as a fully-formed unit, capable of winning the title from out of nowhere. Or, to use the correct terminology, “doing a Leicester”.

","elementId":"4b7a0c6e-01d2-4355-8eac-4815639e148a"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Having finished in a historically high 10th place last season, Girona might have realistically hoped to push towards the European places. Instead, everything has clicked into place and with one loss in 23 games, the Catalan club are in a title shootout with Real Madrid.

","elementId":"00dfdbe4-f659-49f0-aea5-4f5e1898bb7f"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

In modern football, every fairytale has its footnotes and Girona, with their connection to the Manchester City empire, are no exception. Still, their net spend this season is just €5m. Even a Real Madrid side that looks patched up in places has vastly outspent that figure.

","elementId":"1453ab2a-eff1-4dd9-a6ac-bc603257958b"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Besides, who isn’t an underdog when they arrive at this Death Star of a stadium to face Real Madrid? They are still Europe’s ultimate overlords, and can move five points clear by destroying another dream here. Any other result, and things will really get interesting.

","elementId":"bc2fd23b-5d68-48dd-b759-0f4225c72fdc"}],"attributes":{"pinned":false,"keyEvent":true,"summary":false},"blockCreatedOn":1707582646000,"blockCreatedOnDisplay":"16.30 GMT","blockLastUpdated":1707572783000,"blockLastUpdatedDisplay":"13.46 GMT","blockFirstPublished":1707582646000,"blockFirstPublishedDisplay":"16.30 GMT","blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone":"16.30","title":"Preamble","contributors":[],"primaryDateLine":"Sat 10 Feb 2024 17.05 GMT","secondaryDateLine":"First published on Sat 10 Feb 2024 16.30 GMT"},{"id":"65c7a1a48f08acd3f3b03227","elements":[{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Lunin; Vázquez, Carvajal (c), Tchouaméni, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinícius Júnior.
Subs: Kepa, Piñeiro, Modric, Joselu, Ceballos, Fran García, Brahim Díaz, Arda Guler, Ramón.

","elementId":"6688d692-3ce3-465d-a348-6d8828c46926"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

Girona (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Yan Couto, Eric García, Juanpe, Miguel; Martín, Aleix Garcia; Tsygankov, Portu, Sávio; Dovbyk.
Subs: Juan Carlos, Fuidias, Arnau, Stuani, Borja García, Valery, Pablo Torre, Solís, Antal, Artero.

","elementId":"4669286f-2504-4a08-98bd-b34fd4e31611"}],"attributes":{"pinned":false,"keyEvent":true,"summary":false},"blockCreatedOn":1707582646000,"blockCreatedOnDisplay":"16.30 GMT","blockLastUpdated":1707582336000,"blockLastUpdatedDisplay":"16.25 GMT","blockFirstPublished":1707582646000,"blockFirstPublishedDisplay":"16.30 GMT","blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone":"16.30","title":"Team news","contributors":[],"primaryDateLine":"Sat 10 Feb 2024 17.05 GMT","secondaryDateLine":"First published on Sat 10 Feb 2024 16.30 GMT"}],"filterKeyEvents":false,"id":"key-events-carousel-mobile"}” config=”{"renderingTarget":"Web","darkModeAvailable":false}”>

Key events

Today’s game is on ITV4, so a nice bit of free-to-air football for you this Saturday teatime. Promise you’ll keep the humble MBM on second-screen, though.

With neither Nacho nor Antonio Rüdiger fit to feature today, Carlo Ancelotti looks set to deploy Aurélien Tchouaméni in central defence. Vinícius Júnior starts after missing the Madrid derby with a back problem; he’ll line up alongside Rodrygo up front for the hosts.

Girona are without Daley Blind and Yangel Herrera, who are both suspended, but Artem Dovbyk is fit to start. The Ukrainian is joint-top scorer in La Liga with 14 goals, alongside Getafe’s Borja Mayoral – and Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham.

Team news

Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Lunin; Vázquez, Carvajal (c), Tchouaméni, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinícius Júnior.
Subs: Kepa, Piñeiro, Modric, Joselu, Ceballos, Fran García, Brahim Díaz, Arda Guler, Ramón.

Girona (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Yan Couto, Eric García, Juanpe, Miguel; Martín, Aleix Garcia; Tsygankov, Portu, Sávio; Dovbyk.
Subs: Juan Carlos, Fuidias, Arnau, Stuani, Borja García, Valery, Pablo Torre, Solís, Antal, Artero.

Preamble

One of the great, and increasingly rare, joys of league football is seeing a team emerge from the middle of the pack as a fully-formed unit, capable of winning the title from out of nowhere. Or, to use the correct terminology, “doing a Leicester”.

Having finished in a historically high 10th place last season, Girona might have realistically hoped to push towards the European places. Instead, everything has clicked into place and with one loss in 23 games, the Catalan club are in a title shootout with Real Madrid.

In modern football, every fairytale has its footnotes and Girona, with their connection to the Manchester City empire, are no exception. Still, their net spend this season is just €5m. Even a Real Madrid side that looks patched up in places has vastly outspent that figure.

Besides, who isn’t an underdog when they arrive at this Death Star of a stadium to face Real Madrid? They are still Europe’s ultimate overlords, and can move five points clear by destroying another dream here. Any other result, and things will really get interesting.

The Guardian