Real Madrid’s crisis continues as the Champions League returns. Two weeks before a critical El Clásico, the team must advance in Europe and stay alive in its two competitions.
The only good news is that Luka Modrić will play some minutes against Schalke. The 0-2 away win will give Los Blancos some peace of mind, but they shouldn’t get too comfortable. Schalke could profit from the crisis and shock the continent.
Preferred Formation: 4-3-3
When times are tough, critics are everywhere. In addition, they each have their different demands for the reversal of the situation. Many are focusing on the team’s need for a system change to the 4-4-2, which proved successful in the past.
The main problem is the BBC, which Ancelotti is too afraid to disintegrate. Tomorrow wouldn’t be the right moment to experiment, yet a change is obviously needed.
GK: Iker Casillas
The captain will tie Xavi Hernández and become the player with most appearances in the UCL. There haven’t been any hints that Keylor Navas will play, so the record is there for the taking.
RB: Dani Carvajal
Ancelotti didn’t reveal any changes in the lineup, because of this it’s likely that Carvajal will start. He needs to be an asset and feed the BBC. Despite the lack of confirmation, don’t count Arbeloa out.
One of the few players still giving his best, whether things are good or bad. He’ll have to wait until the weekend to partner with Ramos again. He must be the leader and avoid the European catastrophe.
CB: Raphaël Varane
He’s in trouble now, as Ramos is now fully recovered. If he wants to play he must be the best out of all the center backs. The competition will get fierce in these final months of the season.
Also without confirmation, it’s possible Coentrão could feature. Last weekend’s conceded goal came from his wing. He should be more careful, as Schalke has attackers that could cause trouble.
RCM: Lucas Silva
He’s still new and hasn’t been able to make a difference. He needs to come out of his shell and start giving results. With Luka back and James’ upcoming return, he will have fewer chances of playing.
CM: Toni Kroos
Intermittent since Modrić got injured, the streak of bad results comes from Kroos’ decline. Ancelotti has exploited him and he has diluted his contribution to the team. Luka will give him a break soon.
While he’s adored everywhere he goes, being loved by fans doesn’t give Madrid goals and wins. Much like Kroos, he shouldn’t be overused or he will be another factor for the squad’s crisis.
RW: Gareth Bale
Eight consecutive matches without scoring and seven without giving an assist. These are horrible numbers for one of the world’s most expensive players. Fortunately for him, he’s not the only one to blame.
ST: Karim Benzema
The lack of confidence in Chicharito gives Benzema more minutes, and his current form isn’t helping the squad. It’s up to one member of the BBC to step it up and at least try to make it right.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
This has been the poorest start of a year since he signed for Real. Being MIA for three months has derived in three losses against top teams, losing the top spot in La Liga and the Copa del Rey elimination.