Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who were runners-up in Spain’s top flight last term, opened their season with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao, while Almeria started their campaign with a 2-0 home loss to Rayo Vallecano.
Almeria finished 17th in La Liga last season, with their survival battle going to the final day, and they will be hoping to avoid another relegation fight this term, but it would not be a surprise to see them in and around the bottom three for much of the campaign.
La Union made a disappointing start to their 2023-24 season, suffering a 2-0 loss at home to Rayo on the opening night, with penalties from Isi Palazon and Randy Nteka deciding the match at the Power Horse Stadium.
Vicente Moreno’s side have managed to make a number of new signings this summer, with Luis Suarez arriving on a permanent basis from Marseille, while Ibrahima Kone, Dion Lopy and Sergio Arribas are also among those to have made the move to Almeria during the transfer market.
El Bilal Toure has been their main departure, joining Napoli in a big-money deal, but the squad looks strong enough to cope with the rigours of La Liga football.
Almeria’s season is not going to be shaped by their results against the likes of Real Madrid, and they have lost each of their last seven La Liga games with Los Blancos, including a 2-1 defeat in the corresponding fixture during the 2022-23 campaign.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, made a strong start to their 2023-24 La Liga campaign, securing all three points against Athletic courtesy of a 2-0 success, with Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham on the scoresheet at San Mames.
Ancelotti’s side finished second in Spain’s top flight last season, 10 points behind the champions Barcelona, who opened their new campaign with a goalless draw against Getafe.
Los Blancos have made five new signings this summer, bringing in Bellingham, Arda Guler and Fran Garcia on permanent deals, while Joselu and Kepa Arrizabalaga have arrived on loan from Espanyol and Chelsea respectively.
Karim Benzema has been the team’s major departure, and it remains to be seen whether Ancelotti keeps faith with his new 4-3-1-2 formation throughout the season, with Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior operating as the front two, which worked well against Athletic.
Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey last season but will certainly have their eyes on the La Liga title in 2023-24, while success in the Champions League is also demanded.
Los Blancos will seemingly now not be signing Kylian Mbappe this summer despite the recent rumours, with the France international expected to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.
Almeria La Liga form:
Real Madrid La Liga form:
We say: Almeria 0-2 Real Madrid
Almeria have enough quality to cause Real Madrid problems in this match, but we are finding it tough to back anything other than an away win. Bellingham was excellent on his debut for the club last week and will be looking to inspire his new side to another victory early in the campaign.