Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan: Three Bold Predictions

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images) /

Could Isco and Marcelo surprise for Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan this Tuesday?

Real Madrid host Inter Milan in the third game of the Champions League, which may turn into a do or die game for these European giants. Real Madrid is at the bottom of the table with just one point of two games after playing Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Monchengladbach and Inter Milan have two points from two draws against the same opposition. The group is still pretty much open and Real Madrid can still end up as table toppers if they carry their league form to the Champions League.

A loss tomorrow may make things a lot more complicated for Los Blancos and they may require to win all the remaining three games then to have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. Anything less than a win tomorrow is going to make things more difficult and I think Zinedine Zidane will have this in mind and probably will treat this game like a final.

I expect a good game from the men in white and the first victory of the Champions League this season, putting an end to a four-game winless streak in the competition. Here are my three bold predictions for the game on Tuesday.

Zinedine Zidane plays a three-man defence

Zinedine Zidane has a knack of tinkering with his formations especially during big games and it won’t be any surprise he would try to do the same against Inter. Zidane historically in his managerial career has always tried to counter teams playing a three-man defence with the same kind of formation. He did it against Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla twice and also against Quique Setien’s Real Betis as well.

We may very well see a defence comprising of Eder Militao, Raphael Varane, and Sergio Ramos. Real Madrid already has a lot of issues at the wing-back position and with Lucas Vazquez injured, there are just two fit wing-backs in the squad now namely Ferland Mendy and Marcelo. This may make it more evitable Zidane going for a three-man defence which would help mask the defensive frailties of Marcelo and may also provide more freedom to Eden Hazard in the attack.

Real Madrid, Isco
Real Madrid, Isco (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

Isco starts for Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane has always stated that he prefers to have an advantage in the middle of the pitch and likes to have control of the game by adding an extra midfielder to the game. Isco hasn’t featured much so far this season but this may be the game Zidane goes with the Spanish playmaker to facilitate play higher up the pitch and help Real Madrid find a way past Inter Milan’s press. Isco has a knack of putting in good performances in big games and Zidane has played the Spanish playmaker in most of the big games.

We can very well see Isco playing behind Hazard and Benzema in the front three. Isco put a great performance against Paris St. Germain around the same time last season as Real Madrid put in one of their best performances of last season. As Odegaard is still injured Isco is the only playmaker right now in the squad and is still one of the best dribblers in the team. It would be great having him as Inter’s defence is one of the toughest to get past in Europe.

Real Madrid, Marcelo
Marcelo of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Marcelo silences his critics

Lucas Vazquez picked up a muscle injury on Saturday against Huesca and that added to the piling number of injured right-backs (makeshift right-backs). Real Madrid now only have Marcelo and Ferland Mendy as the only available full-backs and Marcelo is more or less guaranteed a start unless Zidane goes with Militao as right back. Marcelo hasn’t been in form for a while right now and most of the fans have already turned on the Brazilian left-back.

Marcelo still has got that attacking threat going forward, the same flair which may not be worth right now given his defensive frailties but we have seen him improve his game completely in big games. He can still be a game-changer and in the right system hopefully a 3-5-2 formation he can be a great asset to the team.

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We all saw his performance in the El Clasico last season as he played a great game overall with a goal-saving tackle on Leo Messi. I expect a top performance from the Brazilian as this is a final and he has the nerves of playing these games and guide the team to victory.