Real Madrid: 5 players who must shine at home against Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid, Luka Modric, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid have another huge game this weekend against Atletico Madrid. These five players need to rise to the occasion.

It has been a difficult stretch of games for Real Madrid, but the team has turned up the heat when necessary. After getting back on track with a win last weekend at Sevilla following their embarrassing loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, Los Blancos made their strongest statement yet with a dominant 2-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach to punch their ticket to the Round of 16.

Now, Real must prepare to face crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid in El Derbi this Saturday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. And Atleti are actually the favorites, with six points between themselves and Real – and a game in hand.

Let’s look at five Real Madrid players who must shine on Matchday 13 in El Derbi.

LB Ferland Mendy

Left back Ferland Mendy was strong defensively against Borussia Monchengladbach, but it is fair to add that he wasn’t really tested. We do need to see Mendy playing more consistently in the attack, as he often looks nervous and spotty with his passing, especially when he’s under pressure or has to make a more difficult progressive pass.

That said, Mendy is one of the best left backs in Europe and immense defensively. His defensive prowess will be important against Kieran Trippier and Marcos Llorente of Atleti, as they are both capable of causing major problems down that right-hand side of Los Rojiblancos’ formation.