La Liga PREVIEW: Eibar vs Real Madrid

Posted Saturday, November 24, 2018 by PA

La Liga PREVIEW: Eibar vs Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s new head coach Santiago Solari believes likening him to Zinedine Zidane is a pointless exercise as he believes the Frenchman is “absolutely incomparable to anyone”.

Zidane helped Real to a glut of trophies as one of their ‘Galacticos’ during his playing heyday before coming through their coaching ranks and taking the reins, overseeing three successive Champions League wins.

Zidane stood down at the end of last season but replacement Julen Lopetegui lasted only four and a half months, with Solari installed on an interim basis before being announced as the permanent successor 10 days ago.

Solari played alongside Zidane at the capital club and, like the World Cup winner, also managed Real’s reserve side.

La Liga PREVIEW: Eibar vs Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane, right, oversaw three Champions League title wins in a row (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Argentinian has made the best start of any manager in the Spanish giant’s history with four successive wins but he rejected out of hand any comparison to Zidane.

He said in quotes on the club’s official website: “Zidane is absolutely incomparable to anyone. He’s a legend at this club, he’s a legend as a footballer due to his level, he was an exquisite player.

“I had the opportunity and the luck to play in the same team, and to sweat and fight together.

“I don’t have the statistics, but as a coach he’s probably the most successful one in the history of Real Madrid. I admire him as a human being and we don’t have to compare him with anyone.

“I’m very grateful and excited about this big and beautiful responsibility.

“For me nothing has changed in the 11 years that I’ve been at this institution. The important thing is the commitment to your work every day and that we’re working along the same line.”

The 42-year-old will hope to continue his 100 per cent record in charge of Real when they travel to face Eibar at midday on Saturday.

Eibar have never beaten Real in 10 previous attempts, losing on eight occasions, but Solari remains wary ahead of a fixture in which defender Nacho and midfielder Casemiro will definitely miss out.

He added: “I don’t know if it will be a tight game. I expect an intense and feisty match, as they’re a team that have a very clear concept of how they play.

“They’re an aggressive team that press a lot. It will make for an entertaining game.”

Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar does not intend to change his side’s style of play for the visit of Real.

He believes if they can keep their focus in the early stages of the fixture then they have a chance of avoiding defeat.

He said in quotes on Eibar’s website: “Our idea of ​​football will not change for the rival.

“I do not change too much to play at home or away, from one week to the next, to play in the league or in the cup.

“We do not do new things. In training we rarely talk about the rival, but about how we have to do things ourselves. As for work, this is a normal week.”

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