PREVIEW. 19/10/2022. Rodrigo Salamanca
The league leaders tonight open a double gameweek of LaLiga action as Carlo Ancelotti’s men head to the Martínez Valero for the first of the two matches. The Whites face off against Elche in Matchday 10 of the season (9pm CET), before hosting Sevilla on Saturday.
After securing a Champions League last-16 spot and overcoming Barcelona in El Clásico, Real Madrid are fully focused on extending the team’s clean sweep of away wins in LaLiga (P5, W5). Ancelotti’s charges are in fine fettle and their unbeaten start to the season (W8, D1) sees them lie top of the pile.
Benzema named Ballon d’Or
This will be Karim Benzema’s first outing as the Ballon d’Or. The Frenchman, who was recognised as the best-performing player in 2022 by France Football on Monday, travels to the Martínez Valero on the back of an unforgettable week. Our captain has netted four times in six LaLiga games, the last of which came in El Clásico, and he will be looking to once again shine against Elche as he bids to open his reign as Ballon d’Or in the best way possible.
Video.Leaders out to extend clean sweep of away wins in LaLiga
"We have to be ready, particularly mentally. There are three points on the line, just like in El Clásico," declared Ancelotti in the pre-match press conference. The coach will be without recently crowned Yashin Trophy winner Thibaut Courtois, but Luka Modrić and Vini Jr., who claimed places in the top nine of the Ballon d'Or shortlist, do feature in the squad list.
The LaLiga leaders' rivals lie bottom of the pile with three points to their name. The side led by Jorge Almirón, who made his debut in the Elche dugout in the last matchday, have managed to pick up points in both of their last two LaLiga outings (Valencia and Mallorca).