Pablo Alfaro vs Raúl González Blanco was a classic match-up in the Spanish First Division at the turn of the century. This Sunday, they will face each other again, albeit sat on the benches of Ibiza and Real Madrid Castilla, respectively. Their renewed duel will take place at the Real Madrid sports city based in Valdebebas: “He was a global star. I admired him as a footballer. We faced each other many times on the pitch and now we will do so again as coaches. I wish him the very best at a club that helps promote coaches, but on Sunday my plan is to take the three points back to the island“.
Ibiza will travel to the Alfredo di Stéfano stadium with the goal of getting the maximum amount of points after three rounds of average results. “We’re really keen to turn around the recent run of results that we’ve had. The team has plenty of energy left in the tanks and many ideas to generate winning performances. You can always improve many things and that’s what we need to do. We know the areas where we need to be more incisive in. The players are keen and positive about continuing the work we have been doing because they believe in it”, explained Alfaro.
The task at hand won’t be easy, stated Alfaro. Real Madrid Castilla is a reserve team made up of “very young and talented players that we will soon see in the First Division”. Raul’s team “tends to start its matches in a very strong fashion” and show plenty of potential to suggest that they will feature “among the top sides” in the standings. For the coach, the recent run of results are not to be interpreted in a way that would suggest that Ibiza needs to modify its philosophy. Although “requires variations and flexibility to change the set-up”, Ibiza’s current style of play “is the most suitable given the type of squad” in place this season at the club.
In order to have the strongest possible squad to choose from in its visit to Valdebebas, special attention is being given to Rubén González and Diego Mendoza in the days ahead of the match. The central defender and forward want to be in optimal condition for a match in which Kike López could return after injuring himself against Atlético Baleares. The only and definite player who won’t be able to play on Sunday is Gonzalo de la Fuente who is continuing his recovery process.