3 Real Madrid players who must step up in the second leg vs. PSG with Ferland Mendy and Casemiro out

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

1. CM Eduardo Camavinga

I think it’s time, Real Madrid will have to play a nineteen-year-old against one of their fiercest opponents. Casemiro is out and I know no one else who could cover for the Brazilian as well as Eduardo Camavinga can. He has proved his worth over and over in that number 6 role and I think he’d be our best bet against PSG in the second leg. He should start the game alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

Moreover, hailing from the French League, PSG isn’t an unknown opponent for the young Frenchman. One of his most famous performances came against PSG when he bossed the likes of Marquinhos and Marco Verratti in a 2-1 home victory against the Parisians in the 2019/20 season. He had an assist in that game including a very clinical tackling record with some extraordinary passing. And, I think Carlo Ancelotti must recognize that and give him the start he deserves after making the most out of his opportunities in the Copa del Rey.

Camavinga would be a good mix of attack and defense in this game and the perfect piece to round off the midfield trio. Obviously, his game is very different from Casemiro’s game and he cannot be expected to do things that Casemiro does. But, I am sure Camavinga can pull off that anchoring role alongside being a playmaker from deeper positions. Unlike Casemiro, he may not rely on reading the game and intercepting play or getting physical on duels. He’d rather dive into a challenge and recover the ball.

Most importantly, his pace would come in handy against the speedy Parisians. And, his versatility will keep tactical flexibility alive. We have seen both Kroos and Modric dropping deep to play it out from the back. In such situations, Camavinga’s playmaking abilities will be tested and as is evident, he is more of a number 8 than a number 6. I think this interchangeability would also serve Madrid handily in the return leg that needs desperate action.

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I am convinced that it would be Camavinga who would start against PSG in the second leg at Casemiro’s place. And, nothing short of his absolute best will do. He needs to step up big time and if he does end up making the difference here, he’d be counted among the best upcoming central midfielders, officially, if he isn’t yet. It is a very big opportunity knocking at the young man’s door, to say the least.