Real Madrid: 5 players who must shine vs. Celta Vigo

Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /
3 of 6
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

CB Raphael Varane

It will take a team effort to stifle Iago Aspas, who has scored nine goals with six assists in La Liga this season. Again, it’s not a stretch to say that Aspas has been the best player in the league this season. We know how important Karim Benzema is creatively and as a scorer to Real Madrid, but double that importance and you get what Aspas means to Celta Vigo.

Raphael Varane will be under a microscope on Saturday night at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. He is one of the very best center backs in the world, but, to be honest, he hasn’t been at that level this season. Varane has been decent this season, but “decent” is low enough on the praise meter that it means he ends up standing out as the weakest link in the back four.

I know that’s wild to say, but examine that for a second. Varane’s peers in Real’s starting defense are Ferland Mendy, Dani Carvajal, and Sergio Ramos. The game against Elche aside, Carvajal has been immense this season. Just look at the difference when he starts. Mendy is the best fullback in the game. And Ramos is Ramos.

Varane, again, hasn’t been poor, but he’s been spotty. Defenses are starting to single him out and press him, and you had better believe Celta Vigo will use Iago Aspas and the energetic Santi Mina to test Varane on the ball. Any mistake will be punished, especially when Aspas is around.