Real Madrid: Expectations for Isco in Saturday’s Clasico

Real Madrid, Isco (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Isco (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will need to step up their performance big-time on Saturday against FC Barcelona, because they were embarrassed by Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk.

The narrative around Real Madrid before their match against Cadiz has completely shifted. Coming out of the international break, Real were still seen as the strongest team in La Liga and ready for some morale-boosting matches against Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of El Clasico.

Instead, the mood around the club has shifted, as Los Blancos lost to both Cadiz and Shakhtar, looking especially embarrassing in both first halves. The players and manager Zinedine Zidane have a lot to answer heading into El Clasico.

Isco started against Cadiz and was subbed off for the second half, but he was really the only player in the first 45 who wasn’t terrible. The Andalusian midfielder worked hard to create something, anything for his team, winning four dribbles, per

He’s a player who could have a big say on El Clasico this Saturday, as he’s often been trouble for Barcelona, especially in 2019-2020.

Isco has been a star performer for Real Madrid against Barcelona

In the 0-0 December clash at the Camp Nou, Isco, per, had two shot-creating actions with three successful dribbles completed. Better yet, he had 125 yards of progressive passing distance and 204 yards of progressive dribbling distance, and those stats should remind fans of what Isco offers this attack. He keeps the team moving forward, and that’s what he – and nobody else, really – tried to do vs. Cadiz.

The man was even better in the second Clasico of 2019-2020, which Real Madri won 2-0. Isco was very unlucky not to have scored on two occasions. He completed nearly 90 percent of his passes with 201 progressive yards and even put his body on the line with three blocks defensively.

Isco was not a part of the disasterclass against Shakhtar Donetsk, so he should be 100 percent fresh for Barcelona. Given what he’s done to the team just this past season, he could be a real asset for Zinedine Zidane, who still seems to favor the player despite not finding a regular spot for him. Plus, with Martin Odegaard injured, Isco becomes even more important creatively.

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I could see Isco getting the start in this game, based on what he’s done in Clasicos recently and the fact that Real Madrid need the initiative he brings. Isco won’t solve all of Real’s problems and may not have a superstar performance, but he could be the reason for Los Blancos having a rebound performance on Saturday.