The fate of Real Madrid’s season will be decided in these upcoming four matches. Sevilla, Juventus, Valencia and Juventus will be in front of them in a span of 11 days. That’s a lot of challenges really fast, with little time to recover mentally and physically. Los Blancos will need to visit the Sánchez Pizjuán, where they lost the trail of La Liga last season. A match that’s always filled with passion and strong rivalry, it’s going to be a must-watch.
Preferred Formation: 4-4-2
Bale trained with his teammates again. Despite this, Carlo Ancelotti stated today that they are not taking any risks that could cause a relapse. He discussed the possibility of including Ramos in the midfield again, like he did in the Champions League quarter-finals. Because of this, the system will go back to a 4-4-2 and if Bale sits on the bench, it could be changed to the 4-3-3 to revolutionize the game. Saving that ace for later in the game can be a huge plus.
GK: Iker Casillas
Following his substitute role during the week, he’ll most likely be the starting keeper for this streak of matches. The Spanish media is heating up with his departure rumors, so it’s time to deliver and hold off those talks until the end of the season.
RB: Dani Carvajal
While Almería isn’t a rival to measure success with, Arbeloa did shine and even scored. Nevertheless, Ancelotti tends to put his trust on Dani for all the big games. Danilo’s arriving soon and the competition will get tough.
If Ramos is going to the holding midfield again, Pepe will come in and partner with Varane. Having three center backs gives some peace of mind to the coach, as Sevilla have plenty of dangerous players.
CB: Raphaêl Varane
His streak of starting roles could be in danger if Bale returns, as the system would shift back to the 4-3-3. This would be unfair since his performances have been above his competitors. At least he’ll have one more shot tomorrow.
Coentrão seems fit and focused on playing some games before the season ends. The Brazilian should be aware of this and do well, as in this final sprint Carletto will pick only the best players. His defensive struggle is the weakness that he must improve.
RM: James Rodríguez
With Chicharito, he’s the man of the moment with his great performances. His goal on Wednesday gave hope to the fans and the club of winning silverware this season. Keeping him fresh and healthy will be essential.
RCM: Sergio Ramos
The Italian didn’t confirm or deny if Ramos would feature in this position, still it looks like he will. A rough and competitive team like Sevilla deserves extra attention and marking. Sergio will provide this.
LCM: Toni Kroos
He’s recovered his best version, becoming critical in recovering and giving the right passes. He’s the ideal complement of Isco and James, as the former holds on to the ball too much, and the latter is very quick when passing.
He’ll play despite his clear decline in form. The classic case of the player who was worshipped since day one and doesn’t believe he should be benched. At Real Madrid, he must be humble and appreciate that everyone wants and must earn the minutes.
RF: Javier “Chicharito” Hernández
If Gareth Bale is available, he’ll probably start from the bench. Chicharito’s excellent level deserves to be rewarded with another high-profile encounter. The Mexican’s persistent attitude is needed in one of Spain’s most complicated stadiums.
LF: Cristiano Ronaldo
One goal in the last five matches is usually a crisis for the Portuguese. He’s been generous and he’s given three assists in that time. However, with this demanding calendar, his goals are needed more than ever.