Real Madrid: 5 players who must shine in a huge match against Villarreal

Real Madrid, Casemiro (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Casemiro (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

LW Eden Hazard

I was prepared to spotlight a different left winger here in Vinicius Junior, but COPE’s Arancha Rodriguez has reported that Eden Hazard received a negative COVID-19 test. Therefore, Hazard, who missed the international break and the disaster at the Mestalla, will be ready to train and play for Los Blancos on Saturday.

Hazard means everything to Real right now. Real play so much better when he is in the lineup, as we saw against Borussia Monchengladbach, Huesca, and Inter Milan. The Belgian’s season debut off the bench led to a comeback from down 2-0 to rescue a point at the Borussia-Park. And in his first start of the season, he scored a worldie from outside the box to awaken the team; it’s no coincidence that Karim Benzema’s first brace of the season occurred with Hazard in the lineup. He then created the corner that led to Sergio Ramos’ goal in the 3-2 home win over Inter.

Mario Gaspar is one of the best right backs in La Liga, but even he and former Madrid center back Raul Albiol will have all sorts of problems dealing with Hazard. Nobody in the world is capable of dealing with Hazard’s change-of-direction, close control, attacking awareness, and pinpoint finishing into the far post. Hazard has tortured teams in the Premier League and international competitions for years, and he was briefly doing the same last Fall for Los Blancos.

Villarreal are a great team, but they must be prepared to witness a different level of class on Saturday in Hazard. He is the key to Real Madrid picking up an extremely tough three points at the Estadio de la Ceramica.