Real Madrid: 5 players who must shine against Osasuna

Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez
Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

RW Lucas Vazquez

Real Madrid have a couple of options with Lucas Vazquez on Matchday 18. Zinedine Zidane could start him as a right winger, as he’s owned the position over the past month with his resurgent performances. But Zidane could also move him back to right back as Dani Carvajal’s best replacement, instead using Marco Asensio on the right and Vinicius Junior on the left.

Whether or not Vazquez starts at right back, he will be a key player for Real Madrid this weekend in Pamplona. The experienced winger will need to help track back against Roberto Torres, who is Osasuna’s leading goal-scorer thus far in 2020-2021. And his crosses and energy on the right flank will be important to Real from an attacking standpoint.

LW/RW Marco Asensio

I’m not sure where Marco Asensio will start on Saturday night, because that will depend on if Lucas Vazquez plays as a right winger or right back. What’s interesting to note is that Asensio has actually been better on the left-hand side than the right, even though the conventional wisdom has been that the left-footed winger should be inverted and on the right.

Asensio plays better on the left for a couple of reasons. Firstly, his crosses from the left are fantastic and have led to two assists in recent weeks. Secondly, he can drift wide on the left-hand side and still pose a threat to the opposition because of his ability to cross the ball so accurately. And thirdly, Asensio generates more power than movement on his shots, which might actually give him better looks on the left than on the right.

As an addendum to the third point, since Karim Benzema drifts left more readily, Asensio can get into more central positions as a left winger, which is where his distance shooting can come into play.

Keep all of that in mind on Matchday 18, because Asensio could be THE key player for Real Madrid. He’s definitely picked up his form.