After being humbled by a just lately promoted membership and a Ukrainian aspect enjoying with reserves, Real Madrid faces a visit to Camp Nou. Barcelona hosts Madrid on Saturday within the first clásico below new coach Ronald Koeman. And despite the fact that Barcelona is going through a rebuilding course of after it ended last season with out a trophy, Madrid involves the conflict with much more doubts.
Madrid has been outplayed at house by the modest Cádiz and a Shakhtar Donetsk that was with out a number of starters as a result of a coronavirus outbreak among the many squad.
In each losses, Madrid was sluggish and disorganized in protection, leaving opponents time and area to efficiently launch counterattacks. Barcelona’s assault of Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho and the younger legs of Ansu Fati, Francisco Trincão and Ousmane Dembele can have taken discover.
Madrid was shocked 1-Zero last Saturday by a Cádiz filled with a number of players who spent their careers within the second division till last month. During that loss, coach Zinedine Zidane mentioned he wouldn’t have been stunned if Madrid had gone into halftime down by two or three objectives.
That is strictly what occurred on Wednesday when Shakhtar received 3-2 of their Champions League opener after a Madrid backline fell aside with out Sergio Ramos, who was resting after hurting his left knee in anticipation of Cádiz.
Madrid hopes to have its captain back in anticipation of Barcelona.
Zidane has tried to soak up the blame for the embarrassing defeats.
“I’m responsible. As the first half was negative for my side, it means I did something wrong,” Zidane mentioned after the loss to Shakhtar.
“I feel for the players because they have helped me win a lot of things. It was a bad game and they don’t deserve it. But that’s football. You have to keep going and think that if today is gray, tomorrow will be sunny.”
But his squad is below stress, each veterans and newcomers.
Against Shakhtar, Raphael Varane ought to have been its defensive chief with Ramos out. But Varane confirmed the identical fragile defending that was behind his two errors that led to objectives in Madrid’s exit to Manchester City within the Champions League in August.
Caught behind a Shakhtar player, Varane’s lunge to poke away the ball put it into his personal internet, making it 2-0.
Marcelo and Éder Militão have been unable to cease objectives from Tetê within the 29th minute and Manor Solomon within the 42nd.
Down 3-Zero at halftime, Luka Modric and Vinícius Júnior pulled two objectives back, however with half an hour remaining the crew couldn’t culminate the comeback.
“When we don’t play well under pressure, everyone suffers. We found it difficult at the back,” Varane mentioned. “It’s a difficult time for the team, but we’ve got a very important game (Barcelona) and we’re focused on winning.”
Marcelo, who misplaced his undisputed maintain on a beginning spot last season to the youthful Ferland Mendy, has performed three matches this season. Two of them have been these consecutive losses.
That leaves Zidane with a tough option for the clásico if injured right backs Dani Carvajal or Ávlaro Odriozola don’t get well in time. If he performs Mendy on the suitable to deal with the velocity and dribbling of Barcelona’s Fati, then he should maintain Marcelo at left back, where he’ll face both Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Dembele or Trincão, all of whom are quicker.
But if Zidane places Mendy back on the left, then he must recruit Nacho Fernández, a central defender, into taking over Fati. Barcelona’s teenage sensation ought to have the benefit in that duel, that means Fernández would require assist and thus Messi would have extra space within the center.
Barcelona involves the traditional on the heels of routing Hungarian aspect Ferencváros 5-1 within the Champions League on Tuesday.
Even so, Modric says it’s positive to have Barcelona up subsequent.
“It’s a good thing that the next game is soon and it’s the clásico,” Modric mentioned. “We haven’t forgotten how to play football. We can put in a good performance.”
[ Attribution HT]