A patched defense with an uncertain future

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By CAPosts 08 April, 2021 - 12:24pm

Nacho, against Liverpool.AFP7 via Europa Press / AFP7 via Europa Press

When Zinedine Zidane wanted to praise the work of his team, several times he resorted to a phrase of Italian influence, where he played five seasons in the industrial Juventus : “We don't risk nothing ”, he has repeated on more than one occasion at the helm of Real Madrid. A maxim that he himself has strictly applied when aligning defenses. Zero surprises with things to eat. This course, however, the cascade of injuries has forced him to a continuous patch of the rear, especially, in this decisive section. Varane's covid loss was the last episode in a line patched by almost every site. The emergency solutions have not come out, so far, not bad. Tomorrow Messi awaits him and next Wednesday, Klopp's European rematch at his Anfield stadium

Real Madrid also loses Varane Lucas Vázquez, Valdebebas Nacho's cover, the effective youth squad who was never in a

strategic plan Virtually none Of those that form, or can form, the penultimate white dike was now listed in August on Zizou's plan A for this mission. Lucas Vázquez was a loyal forward midfield praetorian. Nacho seriously studied his departure to Italy last summer when he saw all the roads of the Bernabéu blocked. Militão , the most expensive defender in the club's history (50 million), has been undergoing an obvious devaluation process all year in the dark room. And Mendy , this is a fixed one, has had to act as an improvised center-back for a couple of days in recent weeks because Marcelo stopped counting as a winger and became only a lane with the intention of moving him away from his own area and bringing him closer to the opposite. The interim has been imposed by the physical problems of the non-negotiable Carvajal , Sergio Ramos and Varane.

And to add another element to this provisional scenario, the uncertain future employment of most of Madrid's defenders. Except for Carvajal and Mendy, neither seems to be guaranteed continuity. Apart from the thorny case of Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vázquez also ends his contract and his renewal does not show signs of prospering; Varane has one year left, but there is still no certainty that he will extend his relationship, which would open other avenues; Nacho already said that he would study his situation at the end of this campaign based on the club's plans; Militão's devaluation leaves it in a very precarious position, unless it is uncovered in this new opportunity; Marcelo's collapse invites a friendly exit for both parties; and Odriozola already has two blank campaigns. A mended defense and, in addition, in the air from June

Good streak

Despite this undesirable landscape, the fort, for the moment, remains standing thanks, above all, to the cut of Lucas Vázquez and Nacho, two youth squad to the rescue. His deployment has been key in Madrid's best run of the season: 12 games without losing (10 wins and two draws). In this section, in which ZZ has regularly resorted to drawing three center-backs and two lanes, the team has conceded an average of 0.58 goals per game (seven in total), a ratio similar to that of decisive crashes. of the post-confinement (0.54) and well above the global of the entire campaign (0.97). The absence of Ramos, which at other times has meant a tragedy for whites, especially in Europe, is saving her this time with solvency.

Now, the test is to overcome the double loss of the Sevillian and Varane. He already did it at home against Liverpool, but he still has the commitments of Barcelona and Anfield. Since Pepe left in 2017, only seven times between the League and the Champions League have both been absent at the same time in the eleven, with a balance of four wins, one draw and two losses. Last Tuesday's match against the Reds was the most critical of this series and the result was not out of tune. The forced home isolation of the French central, attacked by the coronavirus, represents another opportunity, who knows if the last, for Militão, whose presence and contribution to date has been inversely proportional to its record price. On the feet of the Brazilian and in others that at the beginning of the year were not among the preferred ones, the defense of Madrid has been left to face two duels with a lot of tusk.

The rising formula of the three centrals

Zidane's classic 4-3-3 scheme has been modified often in these 12 games without losing Madrid. If last year he changed it on occasions to play with four or five means, this time the variation has affected the rear. The French coach has not been the exception among the greats of the League and has also joined the current of three centrals and two lanes. Of the 12 games without falling, in seven he has resorted to this option, either at the beginning or during the crash. This has also been the formula in which Marcelo or the squad player Marvin have found a place, on stage due to casualties. The variant has not been out of tune, except on one occasion. Against Real, the change after the break did not sit well with their team and they received a goal that later they could only equalize (1-1).

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Source: Elpais

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