Deportivo La Coruña vs. Real Madrid: Match Preview

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10: Guilherme (L) of Deportivo La Coruna in action against Toni Kroos (R) of Real Madrid CF during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain on December 10, 2016. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10: Guilherme (L) of Deportivo La Coruna in action against Toni Kroos (R) of Real Madrid CF during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain on December 10, 2016. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid might have lost El Clásico, but they can still win La Liga. This mid-week match against Deportivo has to be Los Blancos’s return to their winning ways. Not only because they now need to win all their remaining matches in the league, but because FC Barcelona have a significant goal differential over Real. Ronaldo and co. will be rested for this match in order to preserve them for the clash against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinal in the coming week.

Rotation is key

It’s another short week for Real Madrid. After today’s match on the road, as on Saturday, Real will host Valencia. So, Zidane needs to make sure he makes the most of the players available to him, because he’s going to need them all.

Raphael Varane has been deemed fit to play, which is good news considering that, with Sergio Ramos banned from today’s match after his red card against Barcelona, and Pepe still out injured, Zidane hasn’t got much choice in the back line.

James Rodriguez could be an option, after a big goal in El Clásico after being subbed in for Karim Benzema. Isco is another option, after not playing against Barca, he could make the starting XI today. Not to mention, he is currently in super form.

Furthermore, Mariano Diaz will also come in handy for Zidane, deciding to rest Crisitano Ronaldo. Marco Asensio has been in great form lately.

With Bale injured, the young Spaniard should be rested today to keep him fresh for the match against Valencia.

Lucas Vazquez could start today, considering that he should be fully fit after not being included in the squad of the last match.

Possible Line up

The above line up presents my thoughts on what could be the best formation to the next match. Alvaro Morata and Casemiro shouldn’t play the full 90 minutes in order to keep them fit for the next match, and Benzema’s performance in El Clásico should be a strong incentive for Zidane to depend on the Spaniard in the next match against Valencia, an opponent that is sure to give Real Madrid headaches.

As for Casemiro, Luka Modric could be inserted in exchange for the Brazilian during halftime, but this is dependent on the flow of the game and the formation Zidane rolls out.

(Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
(Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /

Final Notes

Zidane today needs to keep his team calm.

After losing El Clásico, one more mistake could lead to the loss of the long awaited La Liga title.

Finally, he needs to react quickly and without hesitation to how the match goes. One of the reasons why Real lost against Barca, is because Zidane chose to sub out Benzema (who was in terrible form in my opinion) very late in the game. The result of inserting a more active and focused player was instantaneous (bear in mind Real Madrid were down to ten men when James was subbed in).

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Had that substitution happened earlier, the team would surely have played significantly better. Maybe by inserting a striker like Alvaro Morata, instead of a midfielder like James, Real could’ve won El Clásico.

Zidane will need to be much more decisive and cautious than he was in El Clásico while a man down. If he can change the team tactics throughtout the match, Real Madrid will win La Liga. If not, Zidane and company will have to watch their rivals lift the league trophy another season.