Isco had some fantastic moments against Osasuna. Really, he has been an asset all season long in a backup role, whether in the Copa del Rey or LaLiga. This will be Isco’s last season with Real Madrid, and while you could say that he never fulfilled his potential as a top, top player, there is no doubt that he has left a positive impression on the world’s biggest club. Isco can have a positive run of games before signing with a club like Real Betis, Sevilla, or Milan in the summer 2022 window. Expect him to be one of the top performers against Espanyol this weekend.
DM Eduardo Camavinga
In truth, Eduardo Camavinga should have started against Manchester City in the first leg, and he should have a significant role to play in the second leg, having seen what he is capable of doing in the second half of big Champions League games. With Casemiro still working hard to return from an injury that proved devastating to Madrid in the first leg, Camavinga is the only person Carletto can trust in the No. 6 role this weekend.
Toni Kroos and Luka Modric both need rest – especially Kroos. And Fede Valverde could use a breather or would be better-suited in a role on the right side of the formation. Camavinga has been good in a defensive midfield role and should be good enough for this game.
CM Dani Ceballos
It took 33 Matchdays for Dani Ceballos to truly make his mark, but after several encouraging displays off the bench, the former Real Betis man was one of the best players on the pitch in a 3-1 win over Osasuna last week. Ceballos followed that up with a positive cameo off the bench at the Etihad, and there are rumblings that he could be a part of the picture in 2022/23 – provided he is OK with being a backup in Madrid.
Ceballos will get another opportunity to shine against Espanyol. Like Isco, don’t be surprised if the attack-minded, technically-excellent Spanish midfielder has a big game. He is in full confidence and is determined to prove himself to the world in every single match.