18 September 2014 12:07
Real Madrid travel to Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday in a rare position as they seek to end a run of two La Liga defeats on the spin.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have made a stuttering start to the season, going down 4-2 to Real Sociedad ahead of the international break before a 2-1 reverse against bitter rivals Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last weekend.
The latter led to whistles from sections of the home support towards goalkeeper Iker Casillas as certain fans lost patience with Real’s disappointing start to the campaign.
However, a dominant 5-1 win over Basel in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday helped stop the rot for the European champions.
Casillas impressed and earned warm applause while the attacking quartet of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez were all on target to bolster Real’s confidence.
As Ancelotti seeks to spare his side a third-straight league defeat – something not suffered since 2009 – the Italian explained the win over Paulo Sousa’s Swiss side had boosted morale around the club.
“The team played well [on Tuesday], we scored a lot of goals and tried to play as well as we could. The Bernabeu was content after that performance,” he said.
“We have to be positive. I don’t hear the booing, but when the supporters sing ‘How can I not love you’ of course I hear that. I want to live positively.
“Everyone gets nervous, including the players. It’s normal. When you lose the derby it is normal to be nervous.
“I am not used to losing two games on the bounce with Real Madrid. It is good not to get used to that.”
Deportivo, meanwhile, have made a relatively promising start to life back in the top flight – taking four points from their opening three games.
Juan Dominguez’s goal ensured a first league victory of the season for Victor Fernandez and co last time out against fellow new boys Eibar although they will likely face a much sterner test at the Riazor on Saturday.
Fernandez could look to reshuffle his pack ahead of a busy schedule that sees three fixtures in eight days although Haris Medunjanin, who has started all three of Depor’s league games this term, is eager to test himself against a star-studded Real side.
“I think when you play against Madrid you cannot be tired,” he said this week.
“It’s a game you have to enjoy and play without fear. Everybody thinks that Madrid will win easily but if we play together as we did in Eibar we can get something.”
Ancelotti could welcome back defender Dani Carvajal after a hamstring injury while Fernandez’s main fitness concern is Luis Farina, who missed the win over Eibar with a hip problem.