Real Madrid: 5 players who must shine at Deportivo Alaves

Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid CF Karim Benzema

Victor Laguardia and Florian Lejeune stymied Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano earlier this season in the Royal Whites’ 2-1 loss to Alaves. The experienced center back duo were physical, menacing, and mistake-free against a stagnant Real attack.

Karim Benzema is the only forward playing at a star level for Real Madrid this season. Lucas Vazquez has been a pleasant surprise and Marco Asensio’s had his moments recently, but Benzema is the team’s leader in goals and assists and the one man Zinedine Zidane can actually count on to produce.

Unfortunately, Benzema is in the midst of a dip in form, as he has just one goal contribution in his last five appearances. Before that, he had eight goal contributions in five appearances. Benzema is Real’s biggest hope at Alaves.

Real Madrid RW Marco Aseniso

Likewise, Alaves left back Ruben Duarte is another player to be wary of, because he is a solid player in Alaves’ imposing back four. Marco Asensio will likely draw the start on the right wing, as Lucas Vazquez may be needed at right back in order to cover for the still-recovering Dani Carvajal.

Asensio’s had good moments in his last few matches, but he needs to find the back of the net more often in order for Madridistas to truly feel like he is a key starter. Another thing to note is that Asensio has played better on the left side than on the right, though he is needed more on the right with Eden Hazard seemingly locked into the left wing role (though that could also change).

If Asensio can have a great game against Alaves, I have a good feeling about Real Madrid picking up all three points. But if not, we could be headed for more disappointment.