Manager Carlo Ancelotti has had little time to celebrate his team’s triumph over Chelsea in the Champions League quarterfinals.
After becoming the first manager to ever reach the competition’s semifinal eight times, all attention has returned to closing out the La Liga campaign in style. On the schedule this weekend: third-place Sevilla in the always rowdy Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
Ferland Mendy will miss the match due to an injury, and after making a lengthy cameo on Tuesday night, team captain Marcelo will also miss the important trip after picking up a knock.
Who does Carlo deploy on the left flank with two of his best defenders out through injury?
He had to step up to fill the void left by Eder Militao in the second leg against Chelsea, and even though he struggled, he should be the first choice to fill in given the circumstances.
Ancelotti will likely look to his veterans in this high-stakes road trip, and it seems no player is better suited for that pressure than Nacho.
Nacho has played left-back at least eight times so far this season and was fantastic playing 90 minutes as a fullback when Real Madrid shut out Inter Milan in the Champions League group stage.
Vazquez has transitioned from a winger to a fullback through pure necessity.
As we often see with Nacho Fernandez, Vazquez has hung around in the Spanish capital because of his willingness to play anywhere and any way the manager requires. Though I don’t foresee him being used on the left, if he ends up playing right-back over Dani Carvajal, that could give Ancelotti the ability to tinker with his left side just a little bit more.
The most likely candidate to slot in on the left is Nacho, but Vazquez starting could signal a change in formation, or perhaps, an experiment by the manager.
Even if he isn’t selected for the starting XI and Carvajal gets the nod, I am sure Vazquez will play a role in this match.
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Real Madrid could not have chosen a better player to replace Sergio Ramos. Alaba has arrived in Spain after spending years with Bayern Munich and immediately asserted himself as the clear starter and emotional leader of the backline.
Alongside Militao and Mendy, Alaba exudes Madridismo and can do the job of two players if need be.
He will likely be tasked with adding more certainty to that left flank, even if Nacho plays.