by Tim Stannard
Hazard out, but Luka Jovic in as Real Madrid faces a Getafe side that will be feeling very much at home
Coach Zizou has one main enemy in the title race. Aside from Gareth Bale. And James Rodriguez.
Coach Zizou has three main enemies in the LaLiga title race. The biggest of all is complacency. As, according the French coach himself, this is the primary threat to Real Madrid picking up only the club's second league title win in eight years.
While Barcelona supporters - and even the players themselves - may think that the title race has been blown with the Camp Nou club grinding out just six points from the past 12 available, Barca are just one point behind in Madrid in the standings, all be it with one game more played.
That extra match for Real Madrid is taking place at an empty Alfredo di Stefano stadium in the suburbs of Madrid on Thursday, rather than the majestic surroundings of the downtown Santiago Bernabeu with 85,000 spectators.
But if there's one opponent who is more than equipped for a match with empty stands in the suburbs of Spain's capital city, it's Getafe. That's the team's default situation.
A sprightly Getafe are going into the game in sixth with a chance of making the Champions League places and are more than capable of grinding out a draw - or something more if Real Madrid are off their game, as they very much were against bottom-of-the-standings Espanyol on Sunday.
"I've experienced this situation as a player. We have won absolutely nothing," warned Zidane.
There were a couple of surprises in Coach Zizou's latest squad with Eden Hazard being left out with the Belgian being given a bit of a rest. However, Luka Jovic is back, back, back having missed the restart so far with a fractured foot reportedly gained by falling off a wall.
Coverage begins of Real Madrid vs. Getafe at 3:30PM ET and is proceeded by the Mighty Eibar taking on Osasuna looking for three points to avoid being pulled into a late relegation scrap.
Barcelona's new coach and Griezmann's unhappy entourage
Barcelona has a new coach! Big news!
To clarify, the club's basketball team has a new coach, Sarunas Jasikevicius, but if the tea leaves in the Catalan capital are aligned correctly, then the institution's soccer team could be looking for a new head coach as well, in just over a fortnight's time if Real Madrid prevail against Getafe and then the team's remaining five games.
The front cover of Thursday's Sport talks of an "uncertain future" for Quique Setien who has just days to find the solution to an awful lot of problems ranging from an inability to win games - fairly key - to keeping major stars happy, especially Antoine Griezmann, whose family members have been calling out Setien in public after leaving the French forward on the bench until a minute was left on the clock in Tuesday's draw with Atletico Madrid.
Griezmann is on the front cover of Thursday's edition of L'Equipe with the French sports paper reporting that the players entourage - he has one apparently - will be meeting with Barca's officials to discuss his situation with the club. The timely transfer gossip on Thursday has both Arsenal and Inter linked with the player.
NFL reduces preseason as NBA looks to fix sandwich situation
The USA's major sports leagues are seemingly making daily adjustments in their respective plans to restart despite the COVID-19 virus not showing signs of magically going away as one particular person of influence was predicting on Wednesday. Again.
The NFL has shortened its 2020 preseason to just two games. Training camps are set to begin on July 28th with matches taking place a month later.
The 22 NBA teams involved in the league's restart are set to start arriving in Orlando from next Tuesday and entering the 'bubble' to begin following 113-pages of instructions on how to complete the campaign safely.
However, one of the biggest barriers to the success of the NBA will need to be addressed immediately - $65 sandwiches of a rather limp nature that had been offered to the MLS players currently beginning their secluded life in Florida before next week's MLS is Back tournament gets underway.