3 Real Madrid players who must shine if David Alaba, Dani Carvajal miss Supercopa final

Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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On Sunday, the 16th of January, Real Madrid would have the chance to win their first trophy since July 2020, when they last won their 34th LaLiga title. Los Blancos are up against Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Supercopa De Espana, which shall be played in the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.

Real Madrid would have the chance to seek revenge against the defending champions Bilbao, who knocked them out of the same competition in the semi-finals stage last season. But they would have to do so without their two important players, David Alaba and Dani Carvajal. While Dani Carvajal, who has just returned from a calf injury, is out after testing positive for COVID-19, the Austrian is having some muscular problems and is doubtful for the finale.

Both of them are definite starters for Real Madrid, and their absence will be a huge loss for Real Madrid in an all-important game. But of course, there will be replacements, and those players would have to step up big time. So let us have a look at three such players who have to step up their game for the final, and cover for the absence of Alaba and Carvajal.

Two names I’m not going to mention in the list are Ferland Mendy and Thibaut Courtois. Individually there is no need for them to change anything, but they will be having a tough time under Bilbao’s pressure, similar to how they faced problems against Barcelona’s pressure. Both of them aren’t really the best with the ball at their feet, and they are often helped by David Alaba under pressure. In the final, they potentially wouldn’t have the services of Alaba available and would have to be a bit more careful while playing out of the box.

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

Lucas Vazquez (RB)

Dani Carvajal had a proper backup in Alvaro Odriozola until last season, but the former Sociedad player had his own share of fitness problems, due to which he wasn’t really a reliable backup. Eventually, he was loaned to Florentina last summer, and no replacement was signed. Lucas Vazquez, who was always seen as a part-time fullback, was offered a three-year extension and it became clear that the Real Madrid academy product is going to be the backup for Dani Carvajal.

Vazquez had excelled as Real Madrid’s right-back in a lot of big games last season, often covering for the injured Carvajal. He hasn’t seen any lesser opportunities this season, with Carvajal’s fitness problems often coming back to haunt him. But Lucas’ performances haven’t been up to the mark this season, due to which there has been a lot of discussion regarding Real Madrid’s right-back issues.

Being a natural right-winger, Lucas often shows his attacking instincts even while playing as a right-back. His defensive game, particularly his 1v1 defending, has never been his strength and he’s occasionally accused of committing defensive mistakes. This season, his defensive flaws have been exposed even more due to the team’s open gameplay, and his attacking hasn’t really been anything special until now, with just a goal to his name in 1267 minutes in all competitions this season.

He can’t be Carvajal, who can be one of the best in his position when fit, but he can definitely contribute to the team by doing what he knows the best. His excellent crossing skills will be useful in breaking down Marcelino’s low to mid-block, which is very difficult to break down. And he shares great chemistry with Luka Modric, which will be crucial to attack through Bilbao’s left-wing.

Lucas has already played twice against Bilbao this season and put in a match-saving block in the 60th minute of the home fixture played in December. Well, he also made a blunder which almost cost us two points at San Mames, but there’s nothing to worry and the 30-year-old Lucas definitely knows how to play against Bilbao.