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, Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

CB Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane had a great game against Celta Vigo, and that performance was definitely needed considering the criticism he had come under previously for looking rather shaky on the ball. It’s sad how the center back often becomes a target for criticism, but he’s actually shown in 2020-2021 that the narrative about him not being as good without Sergio Ramos is a load of rubbish.

He will, however, have to play without another world-class member of the Real Madrid back four in Dani Carvajal, who has been crucial to the team’s overall defensive performance in 2020-2021. Osasuna don’t have a great attack, but their front three is capable of taking Real by surprise if they are not careful. Varane must be vigilant on Saturday night.

CF Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema wasn’t at his sparkling best against Celta Vigo, but a goal and an assist apiece from Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio ensured that Benzema did not have to be the “fall guy” for his teammates not picking it up. Because Benzema, for a third year running, is clearly the team leader in goals and assists.

Osasuna have been one of the three worst defensive teams this season along with Huesca and Valencia, and Benzema scored three goals in his two matches against the aforementioned sides. So it stands to reason that we should expect the French striker to score in Pamplona.

3 Real Madrid players who must step up with Dani Carvajal out. dark. Next

Despite Osasuna’s sketchy defensive record, a snowy – and stormy – night in Pamplona could benefit the home side. Benzema will have to work hard for his goals, but, rest assured, I believe the opportunities will be there for the Pichichi hopeful.