Real Madrid: 5 players who must shine in El Derbi this weekend

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez
Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images) /

RB Lucas Vazquez

Quietly, Lucas Vazquez has also been among La Liga’s leaders in key passes per game. He is averaging 1.9 per match, meaning he is in the top 10 in the league and tied with Real Betis midfield maestro – and former Madrid man – Sergio Canales.

Vazquez was breathtaking in the 2-0 win over Atletico at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano earlier this season, and he’s quietly been one of Real’s best players over the past couple of months. When Los Blancos are at their best, Vazquez is often a part of the action.

He will need to be on top of his game defensively and will need to keep on creating chances offensively. The Galician wide man has 12 key passes in his last three La Liga matches, an average of four per match.

FW Rodrygo Goes

Rodrygo Goes is fully expected to start for Real Madrid this Sunday afternoon. Even if Zinedine Zidane would ideally ease him into the action off the bench like he did on Monday vs. Real Sociedad, he may not have a choice. Karim Benzema does not appear to be ready and is not listed in MARCA’s expected XI, while Mariano Diaz is ruled out with an injury.

The 20-year-old Brazilian is capable of starting just about anywhere up top, and Madridistas will keep a close eye on how Zidane uses him, which is subject to change during the match. In a left-sided role, Rodrgyo is more incisive and thinks more of scoring and beating men one-on-one. On the right, Rodrygo is calmer and more focused on creativity with his passing and movement, though he can also score in those positions when the opportunity arises from the work of his teammates.