This week hasn’t been easy for Real Madrid. Following their sensitive loss against Atlético and Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial birthday party, things went downhill. Club president Florentino Pérez even had an extended talk with Carlo Ancelotti and the entire squad.
It’s time to put that in the past and bounce back. To do so, the team will have to face a disappointed fandom at home and beat Deportivo with excellent football.
Preferred Formation: 4-3-3
Since that evening at the Vicente Calderón, there have been many discussions about Real’s system. Some question the BBC and their lack of defensive commitment and others criticize the midfield and its fatigued state.
What’s clear is that regardless of the system, if the players are not involved in the game, there won’t be a change in results. Ancelotti will stick to this formation, since it’s the one he knows best.
GK: Keylor Navas
Iker’s important mistake that kicked off Atlético’s avalanche will have consequences. While it’s not yet confirmed, it’s certainly the time to give Navas another shot. The Costa Rican lost his competition and must maintain a good form.
RB: Álvaro Arbeloa
For the first time since Carvajal’s arrival, Arbeloa finally can feel he comes first. Dani’s flawed performances have caused a state of unsettlement. Since there aren’t any other choices, Álvaro will start.
CB: Raphaël Varane
Another player who’s going through a rough week. Usually a strong performer, he hasn’t been able to deliver in Ramos’s absence. This match won’t be the best exam for him, yet an improvement is certainly needed.
CB: Nacho Fernández
It’s true that all players were mediocre last week, but some praise Nacho for slightly giving more than the rest of his teammates. He needs a match to redeem himself and not fall into a decline in participation.
Coentrão is injured once again. The Portuguese’s poor derby was going to send him back to the bench anyway. Marcelo must step up, because there are no more solutions, as almost half of the defenders are injured.
RCM: Asier Illarramendi
There’s a small sector that thinks Illarramendi would’ve made the 4-0 a different, more positive result. We may never know, still with Khedira’s three-week absence, the Basque is set to start.
CM: Toni Kroos
Once Luka Modrić said goodbye for a while, that Kroos we had seen until then no longer exists. Whether it’s fatigue or just a poor period in general, it’s obvious that when he isn’t well, the team fails as well.
He wasn’t exempt from the criticism, but the Bernabéu shows him love so often that Saturday won’t be such a hard day for him. Lucas Silva hasn’t even made his debut, and there’s a chance Isco could make room for the Brazilian.
RW: Gareth Bale
He’s no stranger to detractors and he should expect a colder crowd on Saturday. He must share the ball, be smart, be committed in the back and do what he does best. There’s no more postponing his true comeback.
ST: Karim Benzema
Unlike his fellow BBC members, some at least acknowledge Karim’s work in pressuring the rival. Much like he did in Ronaldo’s leave, he should take control of the attack and lead the way to a recovery.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
This is probably one of his poorest moments since he signed for the club back in 2009. There are rumors about the breakup being tough on him and others question his knee’s health. He’s untouchable, still he must drastically improve his form.