Real Madrid: 5 burning questions from an uneasy 2-1 victory vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Jovic
Real Madrid, Luka Jovic (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

When will Luka Jovic get a start?

Luka Jovic finally got on the pitch for Real Madrid. Due to a knee injury, he was not able to play this past weekend, so Mariano Diaz got a start and bagged an assist. Mariano is now injured, and Karim Benzema had to be subbed in the 78th minute against Shakhtar Donetsk with some discomfort. (Let’s wait for more information before discussing his situation.)

So Jovic entered the pitch. He played for about 15 minutes. In those 15 minutes, Jovic touched the ball eight times, won an aerial duel, drew two fouls, and completed five of six passes. It was a decent cameo appearance from a player who last saw the pitch a month ago, when he recorded the lone assist in an embarrassing 2-1 loss to Espanyol.

There is no doubting Jovic’s talent. Multiple times this season, he has impressed when on the pitch, even in limited minutes. Madridistas are waiting for the Serbian international to get a start, but it seems like there is always something in the way.

Jovic may not start this weekend against Rayo Vallecano. The fixtures afterwards are going to be even more difficult. Perhaps a start against Sheriff is in order when they play a second time? Jovic did look great in his 24 minutes against them in the surprise loss, as he was unlucky not to have scored a point-saving goal.

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Resting Benzema is tough, but it is now doable with Vinicius Junior playing so well. Let’s see if Jovic is an underrated beneficiary of Vini’s emerging greatness. Rayo, Granada, and Sheriff to close the month could be three of his best chances to start before the year ends, because the December fixtures all look intense, with the possible exception of Cadiz on Dec. 19.