Real Madrid hosts Girona FC on Saturday in a battle for Spanish football supremacy. It’s first place versus second, in a matchup of one club that you absolutely expected to be here, versus another that you totally did not.
So who are these surprising title contenders out of Girona, Catalonia? Well, the club was founded in 1930 and has traditionally played in the lower divisions of Spanish football.
Girona FC at Real Madrid FYIs
Kickoff: Sat. Feb. 10, 6:30pm, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Real Madrid Preview Material: Starting XI Prediction Team News
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
La Liga Position, Form: Real Madrid 1st, 58 pts, DWWWW Girona FC 2nd, 56 pts, DWWDW
Win Probability: Real Madrid 68% Draw 18% Girona FC 14%
However, in recent years, they have experienced increased levels of success and they gained widespread recognition during the 2017-2018 season when they secured promotion to La Liga for the first time in their history.
Their first go around in the Spanish top flight was marked by some very impressive results, including notable victories over both Madrid clubs.
Girona FC, who play their home games at the Estadi Montilivi, lost 3-0 to Madrid when these two sides played in the reverse fixture back on Sept. 30. The side also boasts a 19-year-old Brazilian winger named Savio, who is currently on loan from a Ligue 2 side.
Savio has impressed so much during his loan spell in Catalonia that he is now set to join Manchester City this summer.
Girona FC shares a strong rivalry with other Catalan clubs, not named FC Barcelona, especially their neighbors, UE Figueres and Gimnàstic de Tarragona.
So with all that in mind, let’s look at who Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti could select in his first team on Saturday when he welcomes Girona Futbol Club to the capital. Let’s see how he resolves that center back crisis, which we covered in the previous post.
Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs Girona FC
Andriy Lunin; Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal, Aurielen Tchouameni, Ferland Mendy; Fede Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, Toni Kroos; Jude Bellingham; Rodrygo, Brahim Diaz.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now, while writing for the International Baseball Writers Association of America. You can follow the website on Twitter.