Real Madrid Vs. Racing Santander, 2012 La Liga Week 24: This Could Be A Beatdown

Mesut Ozil (L) of Real Madrid duels for the ball with Mehdi Lacen (R) of Racing Santander leaving Domingo Cisma behind during the la Liga match between Racing Santander and Real Madrid. The two teams play again on February 18, 2012. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Real Madrid are heavy favorites on Saturday against Racing Santander.

Unless you're a Cule, watching Real Madrid dominate games is fun. The way they play -- at least against the minnows of La Liga -- is entertaining. Their goals are jaw-dropping. Writing about their games after they happen is very, very easy to do.

Unfortunately, writing about their games against minnows before they happen is not easy. Especially when these games are being played at the Santiago Bernabeu. Generally, when one writes a preview of a game, they talk about things that both teams have to do to win the game. If one team is a huge underdog, there's something on what they have to do right or what player has to have their best game.

For Racing Santander to beat Real Madrid, they have to hope that Real Madrid are bad. Racing Santander will not have a chance to win or draw unless Madrid play an absolutely abysmal game. And even then, Los Merengues might find a way to win 1-0.

The 0-0 draw between these two teams in Santander had more to do with Madrid struggling to find their footing early in the season than it did Racing doing anything great. The last time these two teams met at the Bernabeu, Madrid won 6-1. In that game, Madrid were dominating so thoroughly that they decided to play Angel di Maria at left back for the final 20 minutes just because they could. Los Merengues appeared to stop trying before Markus Rosenberg netted his goal.

Marcelo and Angel di Maria are back from injury for Jose Mourinho, while Hamit Altintop and Lassana Diarra are both injured. Alvaro Arbeloa is suspended. Jairo and Gonzalo Colsa are out injured for Racing and Christian Stuani is suspended.

Real Madrid vs. Racing Santander

Game Date/Time: Saturday, February 18, 2:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. local

Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain

TV: GolTV (USA), Sky Sports 1 (UK)

For more on Los Merengues, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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