Real Madrid: 3 key individual battles to watch against Alaves

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will travel to the Mendizorroza to face Deportivo Alaves on Saturday night, looking to avenge both their late November loss to Alaves and their back-to-back cup losses to Athletic Club and Alcoyano.

Let’s take a look at three battles within the match that could decide the result on La Liga’s Matchday 20.

Real Madrid CF Karim Benzema vs. Alaves CBs Victor Laguardia, Florian Lejeune

When Real Madrid played against Deportivo Alaves on Nov. 28, the opponents did a great job of keeping Real out of dangerous attacking situations. Real could only muster a goal from Casemiro in the 86th minute after they had already gone down 2-0.

Karim Benzema did not play in this game, as the Alaves center back partnership of Victor Laguardia and Florian Lejuene were focused on a front three of Eden Hazard/Rodrygo Goes (Hazard was injured in the 27th minute), Marco Asensio, and Mariano Diaz. They shut those guys down, recording a whopping 14 clearances between them, according to

Although Benzema scored a consolation goal against Athletic Club, we haven’t seen the French striker at his absolute best lately. He will be a much greater challenge to Alaves’ steely central defense, and Real Madrid will be expecting him to score and help get Los Blancos out of this drought.