In February, Real Madrid have the elusive triple trophy in sight. Under Carlo Ancelotti, the team has already won the Spanish Super Cup held in Saudi Arabia. Having secured a four-point lead over Sevilla in the league, they are on course to return to La Liga after two seasons. However, the Champions League is the holy grail for Los Blancos.
Some would say Kylian Mbappe’s failed transfer set them back in Europe. However, this is Real Madrid, and they are expected to win the Champions League every season no matter what. So how do they achieve their goal ahead of Kylian Mbappe’s impending arrival next season?
Real Madrid’s defense needs improvement
Make no mistake, the partnership between Alaba and Militao as a central defender has been better than most people expected. However, they still need to add that defensive solidity needed to win those big Champions League games. Despite being top of the league table, there are eight teams with better xGA than Real Madrid. In the Champions League, teams like Bayern, City, Liverpool and Chelsea have better xGA than Madrid.
One of the main reasons for the defensive lapses is Dani Carvajal’s absence due to injury. Lucas Vazquez’s positional awareness isn’t his best suit. As a result, Real Madrid dispatched most of the goals from the right. Carlo hopes Carvajal stays fit for the rest of the season as his tenacity and fighting spirit are key to the team’s success.
Wingers not named Vinicius Jr. must step up
Vinicius Jr.’s astronomical rise in goals has put Real Madrid in a good position. He has already scored 15 goals in all competitions. His killer partnership with Benzema has helped Real Madrid out of tight spots on several occasions this season. However, other strikers in the team were unable to support the pair in a way that Carlo would have envisioned.
We have to consider the seven goals scored by Marco Asensio with a caveat that he includes a hat-trick against Mallorca. He has yet to achieve the level of consistency expected of such a beloved player when he bursts from the sidelines. The rest of the wingers/forwards have a combined total of eight goals. It’s time for some of these players to raise their hands so the opposition has more than two players to beware.
Make optimal use of Valverde-Camavinga
The royal midfielder of Kroos, Casemiro and Modric once again runs the show. Carlo will continue to rely on the trio for big games without even an iota of doubt. However, we should not ignore the fact that they have accumulated almost 100 years. We all witnessed last season how injuries and fatigue ravaged Real Madrid to the point that our midfielder was running on his last legs against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.
Carlo must trust Camavinga and Fede Valverde in games where KCM is not imperative. Resting even one of the three and bringing the other from the bench would make all the difference. It takes away the fatigue factor and allows KCM to weave its magic into the big games.
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Real Madrid are at a crucial moment of the season. You can see the passion and ambition on the player’s face in every game. They have already given us a few moments of joy this season. We fans want more. Because we are fans of the biggest club on the planet. It doesn’t matter that Mbappe didn’t arrive this summer. What matters now is will he arrive in a Champions League winning side next season?