Real Madrid: 5 players who have to shine in must-win match vs. Gladbach

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

It is all on the line for Real Madrid this Wednesday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Real Madrid could be in the Europa League with a new manager if they do not beat Borussia Monchengladbach. Those are the stakes for Los Blancos. If they win this match, they are into the Champions League Round of 16. If they draw, fate is not in their hands. And if they lose, it is surely all over for Zinedine Zidane, and maybe the likes of Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric will follow.

There are so many issues in this Real Madrid squad that detailing them deserves not just one post, but a series of articles. Yet if they can prevail against Gladbach, even if the result is as ugly as their weekend win over Sevilla, then all will be quiet until the next catastrophe.

Here are five players on Los Merengues who must shine on Wednesday night if the club is to avoid a nightmare scenario and a trip to the Europa League.

CB Sergio Ramos

We start with the captain, Sergio Ramos, whose own future is uncertain amidst the turmoil in the team. While there is no doubting Ramos’ commitment and his importance to Real, he may choose to leave a dysfunctional organization if the club bottoms out. We have to wait and see, but there are a lot of personal stakes in this match for Ramos.

He can be the difference on Wednesday night either in defense or as a goal-scoring threat. Ramos scored his 100th goal for Real Madrid in the 3-2 home win over Inter Milan, but the team could not win without him against Shakhtar Donetsk – twice.

Can the No. 4 score another fairytale goal for Real Madrid in the Champions League? Los Blancos may be counting on that.