Friday, 17 February 2017

[SPORT NEWS]Real Madrid Strongest Possible Lineup v Espanyol: Bale May Have to Wait

It has been a roller coaster of a week in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid survived the ride with a comeback 3-1 win over Napoli. Now with La Liga returning, they will welcome ninth-placed Espanyol. Despite their position on the table, the Catalan side managed to beat Sevilla just a few weeks ago. It’s not the right time for slip ups, as one of Real’s pending matches will soon be played.
Preferred Lineup: 4-3-3

Zinedine Zidane has recovered his injured men and can face this stressful part of the season with a full, healthy squad. This will allow him to rotate more often and in more positions than he was able to before. Unfortunately, he must think thoroughly about when to make those changes. He must make sure that the men that are on his lineup won’t be a hazard and cost points and goals.

GK: Keylor Navas

It’s really alarming to see how he has declined in clean sheets this season. With just five in the current term, this is a low number compared to the 22 from last year. It seems highly unlikely he will even come close to that.

Defense

RB: Dani Carvajal

His return to the team was triumphant, with a solid performance, including the assist for Benzema’s equalizer. There’s a chance Danilo could play if he is fully recovered from his minor injury.

CB: Raphaël Varane

He did suffer a bit with Lorenzo Insigne, but he still controlled the Italian advances as best as he could. With Pepe now being completely healthy, we might see the Frenchman on the bench sporadically.

CB: Sergio Ramos

He played most of Wednesday’s match with a knock he got in the first half. He stayed strong while he could, yet Pepe replaced him just as a precaution. He should be fine to play. However, things could change.

LB: Marcelo

As usual, his contribution in the attack was quite solid. On the other hand, the defense was more of a headache, mostly because of Napoli’s skilled attackers. There’s an off chance that Nacho could play if Zidane feels like it.

Midfield

RCM: Luka Modrić

The anchor of the team. Almost every single attacking play had him adding something in. When he’s healthy, there’s really nobody else on the squad that can replicate his work. He could rest and save his strength for the pending match versus Valencia.

CM: Casemiro

His goal, the one that put Los Blancos in a comfortable 3-1 aggregate, was a total screamer. He’s proving this season that he’s not only a fierce defensive midfielder, but he can also shock you with offensive contributions.

LCM: Toni Kroos

Though he made some mistakes, his goal put the team in the lead and possibly changed the course of this round. If the coach considers rotating the midfield is necessary, Isco, Kovačić, Asensio, or James can feature.

Attack

RW: Lucas Vázquez

James Rodríguez was the surprise during the week, taking this spot and doing rather well. His return and overall performance are great news for Zizou. Though Gareth Bale is virtually ready, if he plays this match, it will probably be from the bench.

ST: Karim Benzema

Just as expected, when it comes to the Champions League, he takes it very seriously. With the equalizer, he led the team towards the win. On top of that, he could’ve netted more than just one goal.

LW: Cristiano Ronaldo

He only missed out on scoring a goal, yet he provided the assist for Kroos’ tiebreaker. This type of offensive work is very much needed. He can always satisfy his thirst by scoring in the second leg.


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