A Cádiz flag flies this week in the city’s Plaza de Sevilla, whose fountain has been lit up blue and yellow at night. This is intended to convey to the public that the salvation plan for Cadiz is municipal, something for everyone. It is at stake to keep the best ambassador in the city in the front row. What for half of Madrid, the least relevant, is a maintenance exercise for its greater cause, the Saint Denis final, for Cádiz it is a survival exercise (follow today’s match live on As.com).
Madrid measures the match in minutes, which it will give to those who rested against Levante. Cádiz does it in points. The good part is that it depends on itself, because the clash arrives with Levante relegated, with four points ahead of Alavés and two over Mallorca. The bad part is that if he loses, his permanence will hang by a thread, because the calendar works against him: Mallorca faces two teams without goals, Rayo and Osasuna, and Alavés visits a relegated Levante and it ends in Mendizorroza precisely against Cádiz. A yellow victory would almost definitively clarify the panorama: they would descend to Alavés and visit them with that depression on top of them on the last day. A draw would be more dangerous because if Mallorca beat Rayo they would no longer depend on themselves (they have lost their goal average with the Balearic Islands). Close precedent isn’t in his favor: He hasn’t won two in a row so far this season. Exactly what you need to stay in First Division without looking the other way.
Cádiz has only beaten Madrid four times in 30 matches, the last one being last season in Valdebebas. The other three, at home and for the minimum. In this same League they drew at the Bernabéu and less than a month ago they won at the Camp Nou. He understands, therefore, that he is not facing an impossible event and so does his fans, who have sold out the tickets for a crucial match at the Nuevo Mirandilla.
New technician, new life
The shock plan launched by the club with the hiring of Sergio Gonzalez It has been an incomplete success. The team has added 21 points in 16 games and has already five out of the relegation zone. That was what Cádiz was looking for, a coach with immediate effect accustomed to express comebacks. Four years ago he went up to Valladolid starting from eleventh place. The results reflect an upward revision in practically all the indicators: a greater elaboration in combinations and time in goal plays, a five-point improvement in possession, 45 more passes per game and a much higher scoring average (from 0.75 points per game to 1.12). The five winter reinforcements have also helped, two of them (Rubén Alcaraz and San Emeterio) under Sergio’s orders already in Valladolid. Lucas Pérez has scored three goals in the League and one in the Cup and Luis Hernández has become essential in the center of defence.
Sergio has known how to get the best out of Negredo (five of his seven goals in the League have come after the change of coach) and hook the fans. Even after the last defeat, against Real, he sent an optimistic message: “If Mallorca thinks that it is going to be saved and Alavés too, Cádiz has to think the same because right now he has more points.” Iván Alejo is absent for the duel, injured in San Sebastián.
Aces poker vacation
In Madrid, most of those who were in the derby will return, a mixture of starters and substitutes, and The four most notable players in the squad will be missing: Courtois, Modric, Benzema and Vinicius. Only between the last two have they already scored eleven more goals than all of Cádiz in this League. None of them travel.
Of the eight absent against Espanyol, Ancelotti recovers four, Carvajal, Ceballos, Hazard and Asensio, and Isco, Marcelo, Bale and Alaba are still out. Only the latter is in the plans for Paris. The clash is important for Carvajal, who has not played since the miracle against City. This time he seems safe, like Mariano, who fell very late in the Wanda duel. He has only started three times and is yet to score in another lost season. And Hazard returns, who disappeared from the lineups on February 19. On March 29 they removed a plate from his ankle, a joint that has become a nightmare since he arrived in Madrid. He has played 22 matches, his average since his signing for the white team, most of them incomplete, without pain or glory. Ancelotti announced yesterday that they are waiting for him again at the starting box. From there he starts today, with more hopes of his own and of the coach than of the fans. For him, it is already preseason.
The last thing that Madrid will see before jumping to the Nuevo Mirandilla will be a legend inspired by Alfredo Relaño, already converted into a sign of the club and located in a highly visible area of the locker room tunnel: “Whoever is against Cádiz is against humanity.” The yellow fans expect the white team to believe it.