Fans and critics will see if forward Cristiano Ronaldo's recent drama has affected Real Madrid as they face Sevilla in La Liga play Saturday at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira is expected to start Saturday against Sevilla.
Ronaldo stirred up controversy when he failed to celebrate his two goals in Los Blancos' 3-0 victory over Granada on Sept. 2. The Portuguese national expressed "sadness" toward team officials, then took to Facebook this week and backed away from his statements, saying he is focused on winning as many matches and titles with Real as possible.
Teammates and club officials have downplayed the comments ever since, as speculation continues about what could be bothering one of the world's top players. Rumors suggest Ronaldo wants a contract extension, but the 27-year-old has denied such accusations.
Real will need Ronaldo's scoring prowess Saturday, as they are uncharacteristically holding ninth place in La Liga after three matches and sit five points behind archrival Barcelona.
Sevilla have yet to lose in La Liga play, but have just one victory, a 2-1 home win against Getafe in their season opener.
Los Rojiblancos striker Alvaro Sanchez leads his squad with two goals this season, and will have fresh legs after not logging any time in international play.
The match begins at 4 p.m. EDT, and you can watch a live stream online at you own discretion here.
Projected Line Ups
D Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
M Khedira, Alonso, Ozil, Di Maria
F Ronaldo, Benzema
D Cicinho, Botia, Spahic, Navarro
M Rakitic, Medel, Trochowski, Navas
F Negredo, Manu
Prediction: Real Madrid's manager said he was not worried about Ronaldo's recent comments, but battles in the media can wreck a team's chemistry and Los Blancos were already struggling in their early matches. Getafe could give Real their second shock loss in the past month, but Los Blancos have won the last seven meetings in all competitions between the clubs.
Predicted score: Real Madrid 2, Sevilla 1
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