After losing their first two points of the season, Real Madrid must pick themselves up for another La Liga round. They must visit Las Palmas, the surprisingly fifth-placed team in a clash that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sevilla is now second and only two points behind, anything less than a win could make the league change leaders. With Borussia Dortmund ahead, rotations are expected.
Preferred Formation: 4-3-3
Zinedine Zidane spoke once again about the lack of intensity. His players seem to be relaxing and waiting for that final rush to make a win happen every game. Against Villarreal, we saw that doing that wasn’t enough. The coach must revert this situation before it starts to become a bad habit. In the past, losing steam in La Liga early on made it harder to bounce back in the final months.
GK: Kiko Casilla
When a Panenka penalty comes your way, you really can’t be blamed for not stopping it. Despite conceding on Wednesday, he’s still doing a good job while Navas finalizes his recovery.
He once again had to move to the left wing when Marcelo left the pitch. Carvajal has better odds of starting in the Champions League, so the Brazilian is a safe bet for a repeat starter on Saturday.
He wasn’t called up for the mid-week fixture. The three usual center backs are going through a negative period, so none of them are actually ahead of the other. The likelihood that Zidane will use a Castilla defender is low.
CB: Sergio Ramos
The captain is being criticized by his past two performances. He’s played every single minute this season and has already acumulated four yellow cards. He’ll have to miss a game sooner or later, but it seems his boss will wait for another card.
LB: Nacho Fernández
The Danilo-Carvajal pairing seems to be the official one for now if Marcelo gets harmed, since Coentrão isn’t available yet. Nevertheless, Nacho deserves a chance, as he’s only played one game this season.
RCM: Luka Modrić
Like Pepe, he wasn’t even on the bench against Villarreal. Without him, the team lacks a bit of electricity and creativity in the midfield. Though saving him for the Germany visit seems more important, he’ll play this one.
Toni Kroos’ break was cut short because of Casemiro’s injury. The German can’t perform both the #14 and Modrić’s role at the same time. The World Cup winner is expected to rest and recharge.
He hasn’t been given a starting role since the UEFA Super Cup. James is doing a good job and he could repeat. If rotations continue, this spot could go to many different men, but Isco is bound to get it sooner or later.
RW: Lucas Vázquez
Arguably the most consistent performer in the squad, making the best out of every minute het gets. Bale and James could also occupy this position, yet Zizou may be thinking ahead for next week.
ST: Álvaro Morata
As soon as he came in on Wednesday, he gave it his all, just like Lucas Vázquez. Benzema is also lacking in form, so this type of game can be a good chance to test who should start versus Dortmund on Tuesday.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
His form isn’t exactly the best at the moment. Still, he’ll only improve by playing more, not less. Out of the BBC, he’s the least likely to sit a game out. The coach will hope he regains his killer instinct ahead of the UCL.