It will not be difficult to motivate the Real Madrid players for the clash against Huesca due to what the match means in terms of points, to win away from home and keep in the title chase.
That was the message from Santiago Solari speaking ahead of the game but at the same time, he said that it would be necessary to be fully concentrated and have full respect for the bottom of the table club.
For the Argentine coach, he doesn’t feel that because of Huesca’s league position that they will be comfortable opposition.
In some ways, there are similarities to the Eibar away game with a small stadium, the same blue and red shirts… It is only 14 days since the Eibar loss and Madrid to the surprise of everyone are still in the hunt for the league.
Madrid want to bring an end this habit of losing to teams wearing blue and red with Levante, Barcelona, Eibar and CSKA Moscow coming out on top against them, although they did beat Viktoria Plzen.
They are up against a side that have not won this season, that have five players missing and have been knocked out of the cup by Athletic.
Since the loss to Eibar, it appears as though Madrid have got back on track with wins over Roma, Valencia and Melilla with a balance of ten goals scored and just one conceded.
Marcos Llorente has come to the fore having been given his chance by Solari to cover for Casemiro. While before he was planning to move in January, he has now become a regular starter.
Most of the talk has been about Solari’s decision to use Isco and Asensio sparingly. Isco was left out of the squad completely against Roma.
Solari has put his faith in the attack of Benzema, Lucas and Bale, with the latter having lost the backing of most less the coach.
It looks now as though Asensio and Isco will be on the bench again while Ceballos is likely to play again for the injured Kroos and Carvajal for Marcelo.
For Huesca, there is little reason for optimism with their recent performances. Following Francisco’s arrival they had two better games against Getafe and Levante but now they are back again on a poor run. Some of the players lost a lot of credit in the cup defeat by Athletic.
Injuries have made the situation worse with now Damian Musto also missing along with Akapo, Semedo, Alex Gallar and Luisinho.