Santiago Bernabeu set to be epicentre of LaLiga title race

19 Mar 2017

Victory at San Mames ensured Real Madrid stay at the top of LaLiga, yet with a run of difficult home matches to come, Santiago Bernabeu is set to play host to the title race.

Zinedine Zidane’s players are set to welcome Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and Deportivo Alaves all to their stadium before the end of the campaign.

Now, it is said that a confident team doesn’t worry about whom they are playing against but rather how they will continue to maintain their own form.

Los Blancos have to utilise such a mentality, as well as a positive home crowd, as it is clear victory in the majority of those matches will see the LaLiga title return to the capital club.

Saturday’s visit to Bilbao was seen as the biggest potential banana skin that the team would have to face away from home and there is a confidence within the group that was made clear by their delight at the full-time whistle.

It was an important victory which sets them up well for the battles at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that are to come.

There are still away matches against Sporting Gijon, Leganes, Deportivo La Coruna, Granada and Malaga that Los Blancos will have to handle but in reality those are matches a championship calibre team simply must win.

The stockpile of home matches is in theory a huge bonus with the club having gotten the difficult away trips out of the way earlier in the campaign and the support of the fans will be vital in pushing a team that is still competing on two fronts over the line.

In Sevilla, Atletico and Barcelona, Zidane will come up against his three biggest challenges and it is important for the team to feel confident heading into that run of matches.

As it stands Real Madrid club only depend on themselves, they do not need results to go their way, they must simply do their job.

Pressure is a concept that is far from alien in the Spanish capital and the desire to bring the domestic title back to Chamartin is bordering on being an obsession for the club.

This is where things could get tricky as playing under such pressure can have an adverse impact on players.

For example if the first of those important home matches against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid doesn’t go well then it could kick-start a negative spiral of results if the group can’t maintain their composure.

Zidane has to ensure his team can cope with juggling domestic and continental football whilst urging the fans to help carry the group.

For now, the run of home matches can only be seen as a positive – however with it clear that Real Madrid have their own fate in their hands, it could be decided on home soil.

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