Real Madrid: The candidates to start at right back against Atalanta

Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez
Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Lucas Vazquez

Lucas Vazquez is primarily a right-winger. But this season, he has remodeled himself as a right-back too, and he has done very well to cover for Dani Carvajal. At a point, he was an undisputed starter and he started 21 games on the trot for Real Madrid. Even yesterday when he came on for an injured Dani Carvajal, he did very well and assisted Toni Kroos’ goal with a neat cutback.

Considering the way he has performed as an RB this season, it would be a no-brainer for Zidane to use him as the RB. But there are some problems associated with Lucas Vazquez being played as an RB.  As I mentioned above, Lucas Vazquez is primarily an RW, and sometimes he shows his RW tendencies while playing as an RB. He has been superb in attack, and he has been impressive as a defender, but he has committed few mistakes here and there while playing as the RB.

If we have a look at his games vs Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk in the UCL, he was responsible for a goal conceded in each of those matches. He didn’t track Thuram’s run properly for the first goal in the 2-2 draw, and he was easily beaten in the buildup to Shakhtar’s second goal and he didn’t show any intention of retreating after that. Even in the Supercopa Semi-final against Athletic Bilbao, he was responsible for both the goals conceded, and he struggled against Bilbao’s high press.

These are few mistakes Vazquez has committed as an RB, but his performances were impressive despite some regular brain fade moments. He won’t commit a mistake in every game, but he can still commit an error on the odd occasion due to one moment of a lapse in concentration. And Atalanta is a physical and high pressing team, with players like Duvan Zapata and Josip Ilicic playing upfront. Vazquez might be the best choice, but he needs to stay focused throughout the game and be at his best.