Madrid, Aug 28 (IANS) Real Madrid’s players know they have to find their scoring boots when they play their first home game of the new season against newly-promoted Real Betis on Saturday.
Last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Sporting Gijon (another side that has just returned to the top-flight) highlighted the problem which has haunted Rafael Benitez’s side over the pre-season: although they have created chances, so far those chances have not ended up in the back of their rivals’ net, reports Xinhua.
Gareth Bale is one player who has had the finger of blame pointed at him by Real Madrid’s ever demanding fans and the press and although he has been active in a new role behind the striker, Bale has yet to produce the goods in terms of goals and any misses on Saturday are likely to be seized on by supporters, although he defended their attitude on Friday in an interview on Real Madrid TV.
“The fans treat me well and it’s a dream to be able to wear the Real Madrid shirt,” commented the Welshman.
Other options open to Benitez are midfielder’s Isco and James Rodriguez and James especially will be looking to return to the first team after playing in the Copa America. The Colombian has a good record in front of goal and could be pressing for a return.
Another player who could be back is striker Karim Benzema, who has recovered from the injury he picked up in pre-season and he could provide the extra creativity which has been missing from his side.
This week saw the Frenchman send a message on social networks insisting he had no intention of leaving the club and should he start that would probably see the Bale, Benzema, Cristiano trip united.
Betis will be cheered on by thousands of fans on Saturday night. The side from Seville took a good point on their return to the La Liga with a 1-1 draw against Villarreal last week and will look to frustrate Madrid knowing that the longer they hold on the more the patience of the fans in the Bernabeu is likely to be stretched.