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, Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images) /

CB Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos gave Real Madrid a huge boost in the Champions League at mid-week, providing his trademark passing to help Toni Kroos and Luka Modric control the must-win final group stage match of the 2020-2021 Champions League.

While Ramos’ passing and goal-scoring threat in the box and on set pieces will be key for Los Blancos, his defending should prove to be even more vital against the Atleti attacking duo of Joao Felix and Luis Suarez.

Felix and Suarez complement each other perfectly up top in Diego Simeone’s resurgent attack. Combined, they have scored 10 goals, leading the way for La Liga’s top team. Ramos will need to make sure his bag of tricks matches Suarez’s, and sending a message to Felix will be on the No. 4’s agenda.

RW Marco Asensio

If Marco Asensio gets another chance to start after Zinedine Zidane preferred the more productive Rodrygo Goes, who added yet another goal contribution to his impressive young Champions League resume, on the right-hand side, then Asensio must deliver.

The right winger has played well below his potential in 2020-2021, which has surprised Madridistas after his electric return from injury this summer. Asensio’s defensive contributions have been questionable, but, above all else, his lack of goals or assists has been a huge detriment to a Real Madrid side that came into the season with plenty of goal-scoring question marks.

Space will be at a premium vs. Atleti, but it is also important for Asensio to help Los Blancos defend as a team against a side that knows how to attack in wide spaces.