Real Madrid: 3 possible attacking lineups at Shakhtar Donetsk without Eden Hazard

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

LW Vinicius Junior, CF Karim Benzema, RW Rodrygo Goes

Like Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior has been a major disappointment for Real Madrid over the past several weeks. It has been bizarre seeing Vinicius struggle like this, because he just doesn’t look like himself. But at least Vini made an impact off the bench vs. Alaves. No, he didn’t score his chance in the six-yard box, but it was a tough chance. He did, however, direct the shot in a way that forced a rebound, which gave Casemiro a tap-in.

Vinicius started the season on fire with three goals, including the game-winner vs. Real Valladolid and an absolute gem of an early goal at Levante. Even in the home fixture against Inter Milan, Vini had a goal contribution with his early driven cross to Rodrygo Goes on the other side of the pitch.

With how invisible Marco Asensio has been lately, the best tandem may be Rodrygo and Vinicius on the wings. It may be time for Zinedine Zidane to trust his young wingers with the starts at Shakhtar Donetsk. And of course, Vini scored against Donetsk to give the team a glimmer of hope with the lead cut to 3-2.

Rodrygo plays much better on the right with Eden Hazard on the left than Vinicius, and that has to do with the space he’s afforded on the right when Hazard is in the lineup. So that is something to consider. But if Zidane wants to play both Vini and Rodrygo at the same time, then this is the safest option for him.