Real Madrid vs. Huesca: 5 key players to watch on Matchday 8

Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will face off against Huesca on Matchday 8 at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. Here’s a look at the players to watch on Los Blancos.

Last weekend, Real Madrid picked up a massive bounce-back win in La Liga that should have title implications, as they traveled to the Camp Nou and outclassed Barcelona in a 3-1 victory. Real fell back down to earth at mid-week in the Champions League by drawing Borussia Monchengladbach, but there were two positives. Firstly, they completed a comeback to rescue the point. And secondly, Eden Hazard looked healthy and effective off the bench.

Could Hazard start his first game of the season on Saturday afternoon against newly-promoted Huesca? Here are five key players to watch for Real this weekend when they face Huesca at home in their seventh La Liga match of 2020-2021.

RB Lucas Vazquez

Lucas Vazquez has been a recent revelation at the right back position, and he may have found a new home as the team’s emergency option there. Alvaro Odriozola still seems to be recovering from his injury, and Dani Carvajal won’t be back for a while.

So look for Real Madrid to start Vazquez on the right side again. He was excellent in El Clasico, putting together a Man of the Match performance against Barcelona’s talented attack. Vazquez contributed well offensively against both Barcelona and Gladbach, as you’d expect from the converted right winger.

CM Toni Kroos

Real Madrid center midfielder Toni Kroos had a world-class Clasico, calmly keeping possession and working hard for the team in the midfield. He had five key passes against Barcelona, per, pretty much owning the center of the pitch for his team in a colossal display,

Kroos fell back down to earth at Monchengladbach. His passing wasn’t as progressive or accurate, but he wasn’t helped by poor performances from the forwards.

Against Huesca, Kroos should get the start and dominate. This is his game to own, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s able to score one of his trademark finessed longshots. A goal has been coming for the German star.

More from The Real Champs

LW Rodrygo Goes

On the strength of his play off the bench in his last two La Liga matches against Barcelona and Levante, Rodrygo Goes has earned more minutes on his preferred left side of the attack. It would be wise for Rodrygo and Eden Hazard to split playing time in some way this Saturday.

The 19-year-old Brazilian was so calm in transition in both situations, even if the goals were more about the quality and composure from Real Madrid legends Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.

Rodrygo has all the mental and physical qualities of a future Madrid legend, but he needs more game time in his preferred position to keep developing.

He couldn’t make his usual Champions League difference against Shakhtar Donetsk, but that’s in the past.

Huesca could give Rodrygo a great opportunity to run at a La Liga side, boost his confidence, cause a host of problems, and maybe even provide a goal or a team-high third assist.

LB Ferland Mendy

Real Madrid left back Ferland Mendy has been as consistent as ever this season, and there’s a real difference in quality whenever the young French star is making a start on the left side of the defense. So few attacking players can get the better of Mendy, whose positional intelligence and closing speed are the envy of nearly every other left back in world football.

Mendy should start against Huesca, even if it’s possible Zinedine Zidane could risk resting him to give Marcelo another chance. Real Madrid need to pick up another win and build some consistency, and there’s no better way to do that than to keep the best player at the position in the lineup.

CB Eder Militao

Some rest for Raphael Varane could be in order on Matchday 8, which means Real Madrid would give a starting opportunity to Eder Militao. He seems to work well with either Varane or Sergio Ramos, though the pairing of Ramos and Militao is a more composed duo due to Ramos’ vocal leadership.

Militao played one half against Cadiz this season and ended up being the best performer on the pitch for Los Blancos in that disastrous 1-0 loss. He seems to play well in most games when Real excel, with the exception of the recent Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk without Ramos. And that was honestly a surprise, since he was the only defender who could hold his head high without Ramos in the lineup in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City this August.

The 5 players Real Madrid should have never sold. dark. Next

Meaningful minutes are so important for Militao, as with Rodrygo. He can be a future superstar for Los Blancos, too. Militao makes mistakes like any young center back, but he has real technical quality and a commanding presence aerially.