Real Madrid: 5 key players to watch against Monchengladbach

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid CB Raphael Varane

Real Madrid’s other center back, Raphael Varane, played well in El Clasico after a nightmare of a game against Shakhtar Donetsk without Sergio Ramos by his side. The last time Varane had a poor game without Ramos next to him, he bounced back emphatically in the next few games. That match, by the way, was another Champions League loss, but to Manchester City.

Varane had two interceptions and a whopping seven clearances against Barcelona, doing whatever he could to make sure dangerous situations didn’t turn into goals. The French center back is one of the world’s top three at the position, and we have seen that through most of the 2020-2021 season.

That said, there have been a few issues for Varane to work on. For example, in El Clasico, he didn’t move up with the rest of the defensive line, setting the stage for Jordi Alba to run down a lofted pass and assist for Ansu Fati, who had the step on Sergio Ramos as a result of the botched offside line.

Varane cannot make those mistakes against Borussia Monchengladbach, because he is going up against two of Europe’s most intelligent and technical attackers in Alassane Plea and the underappreciated Marcus Thuram. Varane and Ramos are capable of shutting them down, but it will take their best to do so.