The newly promoted club will face the reigning champions on the opening day of the new campaign
UD Almeria manager Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia ‘Rubi’ has confirmed that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, star striker Umar Sadiq will make the starting eleven against champions Real Madrid on Saturday.
Rubi’s comments became necessary after reports revealed that Sadiq is close to sealing a move away from Almeria.
Those reports were fueled by Almeria’s CEO, Mohamed El Assy, who announced that the Almeriensistas had received a satisfactory offer from an unnamed club for the Nigerian forward. It is believed that former Europa League winners Villarreal are behind the bid.
Still, Sadiq’s transfer away from the Mediterranean Games Stadium is not yet a done deal.
And the Super Eagles striker is expected to be in the Almeria ranks when they face Real Madrid on Sunday.
At the press conference, Rubi said, “Sadiq will be in the eleven on Sunday unless he stumbles tomorrow and falls. That’s all I’ll say.”
Preview: Almeria vs. Real Madrid
It could be a baptism of fire for Almeria when they host reigning champions Real Madrid at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos on La Liga’s matchday one.
La Union were Segunda Division winners last season, but nothing they faced in the second-tier can compare with trading tackles with the European champions.
Nigerian forward Umar Sadiq was the star man for Almeria, contributing 18 goals and 12 assists to power Almeria’s promotion charge.
Keeping hold of Sadiq for this crucial opener is a master move for Almeria, but even the prolific 25-year-old may be unable to help outscore the star-studded visitors.
David Alaba and Karim Benzema were on target against Eintracht Frankfurt as Real Madrid secured the Super Cup in midweek.
And should Carlo Ancelotti’s men carry that momentum into this clash, it could be a long afternoon for many Almeria fans.