Real Madrid: 5 most important players vs. PSG in the first leg of the Round of 16

Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Casemiro, Real Madrid
Casemiro of Real Madrid (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

DM Casemiro

The third and final piece of KCM, Casemiro is going to be the most important player for Real Madrid. More important than any other player in the team.

The season has not been going the way Casemiro wanted it to, but there have been some positive signs.  But, the one thing Casemiro has suffered with so far, is consistency. Casemiro has had his moments but has some bad memories too. The Copa Del Rey game is one such example.

Casemiro did have a great game against Villarreal and will look up to build upon that positive performance with yet another great performance.

Casemiro has always been a very important part of Real Madrid’s midfield. He is the player to cover up the gaps in Real Madrid’s defence, and Carlo Ancelotti will be looking up to him for performing a task in the PSG game too.

If there is one thing in which no one is as good as Casemiro, it is the anticipation of spaces. He can cover large gaps in many areas of the pitch with ease. Remember when Casemiro missed games for Real Madrid last season? Zinedine Zidane would opt for a double pivot.

Imagine, using two players to do what Casemiro does alone. PSG has a deadly front three of Neymar Junior, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi. Even if Neymar misses out, Pochettino has Angel Di Maria to replace him. Di Maria offers a high work rate, pressing whenever possible and making those sprints to counter-attack.

Such deadly front three can shake as many legs as they want, but not of Casemiro on his good day. The Brazilian can be as poor as to contribute to Real Madrid’s defeat and can be as good as to cover up the spaces for 3 defenders. If there is anyone who can protect Real Madrid, it is Casemiro.

Having to play against a former rival (Lionel Messi), Casemiro would be highly motivated to keep Messi quiet as much as he can. Messi is a player who can easily exploit any spaces in the opposition’s defence, while Casemiro is the player to prevent it.

After years of this rivalry, it will be interesting to see how these two play against each other. It is probably the most interesting individual battle to watch between the two sides.

dark. Next. Ancelotti better not snub Jovic and Hazard

Irrespective of whether Karim Benzema is available or not, I believe these are the most crucial players to decide the fixture and take the positive result in Real Madrid’s favour.