Real Madrid: 3 players who must step up with Dani Carvajal suspended at Osasuna

Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Alejandro/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Alejandro/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez
Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

CB/RB Nacho Fernandez

Nacho could very well start for Real Madrid at right back against Osasuna. He was the emergency right back option initially used when Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola went down with injuries at the same time. Nacho himself then suffered an injury against Barcelona, Zinedine Zidane brought in Lucas Vazquez at right back, and the Galician winger established himself as a go-to backup option there.

Vazquez will probably start as the right winger, and Odriozola is healthy. So it may actually be down to Odriozola or Nacho.

As we saw against Celta Vigo with Sergio Ramos out due to a late scratch (New Year’s hangover, possibly!), Nacho has been very good at center back this season when called upon. Just ask Inter Milan what Nacho is capable of in the middle.

At right back, Nacho isn’t quite as impressive, but that’s mostly because he doesn’t get up the pitch quickly. His lack of pace and attacking ability can get exposed on the right side, but in 2019-2020, when playing at left back, he did have some bright moments in the attack. And at center back this season against Inter, for example, he did show great speed in recovering defensively.

So Nacho can make it work at right back. If he does get the start over Odriozola, expect Osasuna to test him a lot more than the world-class Ferland Mendy.