Real Madrid will begin their La Liga 2015-2016 season when they will take on the newly-promoted club to the Primera Division, Sportin Gijon, at the El Molinon on Sunday.
Real Madrid's head coach Rafa Benitez is not worried about his side's goal drought and is hopeful that they will kickstart their new season with a win over Gijon.
The Spanish giants netted 118 goals in 38 games in the last season of La Liga. The same side managed to pull four goalless draws in their eight friendlies before the start of the season. They managed a 2-1 win over Galatasaray in the Bernabeu Cup match.
"We had 22 shots against Galatasaray and I am convinced that will bring us goals. I am more concerned about closing down the opponent when they try to bring the ball out of defence and preventing counter-attacks. I am very pleased and confident. Beyond that, we will try to score against Sporting to put an end to this debate," Benitez told the media ahead of their season opener against Gijon on Sunday.
Previous coach Carlo Ancelotti failed to bring any of the trophies at the Santiago Bernabeu. The bitter reality for them was to see their arch-rivals Barcelona sweeping all the three trophies last season - La Liga, Copa Del Rey and UEFA Champions League. Benitez is trying to charge his side up so that they get back to trophy winning ways.
Surprisingly, Real Madrid have not won the La Liga title since 2011-2012 season. If they would want to break that jinx then their supreme man Cristiano Ronaldo will have to step up to the occasion. He will be beginning his seventh campaign with the club after a superb season. He found the back of the net 61 times in all competitions last year and it was his third time being the highest goal scorer in the league. Real Madrid have also completed the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan earlier last last week. He might just make his debut for the Los Blancos against Gijon on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Gijon have been promoted to the Spanish Primera Division for the first time since they were relegated in 2011-2012 season. They are ready to rub their shoulders with the big boys of La Liga and what a match to begin with. Of course, they will be termed as the minnow in this game on Sunday.
"Out of 100 matches against Madrid, we would win one, hopefully that will be tomorrow," Gijon head coach Abelardo told the media ahead of their La Liga opener.
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Kovacic, Modric, James; Isco, Bale, Ronaldo.
Sporting Gijon: Pichu; L Hernandez, Espinosa, Ramos, Lopez; Alvarez, Cases, Carmona, Halilovic; Guerrero, Castro.
Where to watch live
The La Liga encounter between Real Madrid and Sporting Gijon is scheduled for a 8:30 pm local time (12 am IST, 7:30 pm BST & 2:30 ET) start. The live coverage in India will be available on Sony Six HD and Sony Kix. The live streaming of the same is available on LivSports.
Viewers in the UK can watch the La Liga match live on Sky Sports, while the action can also be live streamed on Sky Go. Spain viewers can catch the match live on Canal+ and Movistar Futbol.
Audience in the USA, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa will be able to watch Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao live on Bein Sports, while the live stream option is on Bein Sports Connect.