Real Madrid vs. Elche: 5 key players to watch on Matchday 27

Real Madrid, Casemiro (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Casemiro (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid have drawn back-to-back big matches 1-1 against Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, as they needed late goals to rescue points against both top La Liga sides. This weekend, they will head back home for a match against Elche, whom they drew 1-1 earlier this season.

This time, Los Blancos need all three points. The draw with El Derbi actually set them back in the title race considering Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are now ahead of Real on points. And with Atalanta looming on Tuesday in the second leg of the Champions League, the momentum boost will be important for Real as well.

Let’s take a look at five key players to watch on Matchday 27 for Real Madrid vs. Elche, using MARCA’s expected lineups to guide the selections.

Real Madrid DM Casemiro

Casemiro has been vital to Real Madrid’s success over the past couple of months, and the team is undeniably better when he starts, despite the criticisms he receives from a surprising amount of detractors who place too much emphasis on ball security.

The Brazilian defensive midfielder assisted the winner against Atletico Madrid, and he’s scored a few winners himself. One of the team’s five most important players this season, Casemiro is second on Real Madrid in scoring and has been an immense presence defensively. Just this past weekend, Casemiro had six tackles and two interceptions at Atelti, per

Elche FW Lucas Boye

Argentine forward Lucas Boye is not a player to take lightly. The Elche attacker was a real nuisance in the earlier fixture, causing all sorts of problems on the ball and nearly scoring a couple of times. Boye is coming off a lively performance against Sevilla, having completed five dribbles but being dispossessed eight times by Julen Lopetegui’s men.

Although Boye is very much a boom or bust player, those kinds of forwards tend to “boom” and bring their best to the table more often than not against a club of Real Madrid’s stature.

Real Madrid FW Rodrygo Goes

Goals will be at a premium for Real Madrid, if their recent results are anything to go by, including the oft-repeated 1-1 draw with Elche. Rodrygo started on the right-hand side against Atletico Madrid and was a non-factor in his first start since returning from injury, though he was more effective off the bench in his overall return last Monday vs. Real Sociedad.

We’ll see where Zinedine Zidane lines up Rodrygo on Matchday 27. Vinicius Junior on the left and Rodrygo on the right would be ideal, but if Zidane insists on starting Marco Asensio, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the plan for Rodrygo is.

Elche LM Fidel

Expected to start on the left-hand side of a 4-4-2 for Elche this Saturday afternoon, Fidel is his team’s best overall player, even as Lucas Boye is the most exciting.

Fidel has four goals and three assists this season, and he is even among Elche’s leaders in tackles per game. The experienced wide man was quite good against Real Madrid earlier in the 2020-2021 campaign, and he’s in good form. Not only did Fidel assist against Sevilla, but he’s had multiple key passes and fouls drawn in back-to-back La Liga contests.

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Real Madrid RB Lucas Vazquez

Lucas Vazquez could be a make-or-break player for Real Madrid this Saturday. He must cope with the threat of Fidel better than he did Yannick Carrasco last weekend, though he should be able to do that since Fidel does not have Carrasco’s pace and trickery.

That said, Vazquez must avoid mistakes against such a crafty wide midfielder. He must also be prepared to fight for every inch offensively. Real may need Vazquez to conjure up more creation, given that he is among the team’s leaders in key passes per game this season.