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Real Madrid join the "early doors" club with midday kick off

English.news.cn   2011-11-05 19:16:20 FeedbackPrintRSS

MADRID, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid will kick off their home game against Osasuna at midday this Sunday as they become the latest side to be affected by the changes to match times in Spain.

Virtually every BBVA Primera Liga club with the exception of Real Madrid and Barcelona has had to play an early match in the opening 10 weeks of the BBVA Primera Liga season.

The 12 o'clock kick off was introduced as an attempt to allow Spanish clubs to cash in on the lucrative Asian market as games kicking off at that time in Spain can be televised prime time in Asia.

The only surprise, given that Barcelona and Madrid are the two biggest draws in La Liga, is that they have not had an early kick off sooner this season.

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has been working to adapt his players to a match at what in Spain is still an unfamiliar time. Mourinho has brought forward the times of the club's training sessions and also the hours when the players eat their traditional pre-match meal.

Real Madrid are without the injured Marcelo, but Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa have both recovered from knocks that kept them out of the 2-0 Champions League win in Lyon and should both play.

Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Golden boot on Friday for the 40 goals he scored in La Liga last season and the Portuguese striker will offer his award to the fans ahead of the kick off.

Meanwhile ticket sales have gone well, the tickets have sold out and there should be a party atmosphere in the ground against an Osasuna side that arrives with several key players out of action.

Midfielder Alvaro Cejudo is suspended, while central defender Sergio Rodriguez is injured along with Marc Beltran Masoud Shojaei, Roland Lamah and Roversio Rodrigues, meanwhile coach Jose Luis Mendilibar will have to make changes in defense.

The good news for Mendilibar is that club captain Patxi Punal has recovered from a muscle injury and is fit to travel.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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