5 Real Madrid players with a point to prove vs. Manchester City

Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal
Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal (Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images) /

RB Dani Carvajal

Yes, I am putting the entire back four on this list. Real Madrid surrendered four goals in the last match against Manchester City, and all four of these players were on the pitch in that game, with three of the four starting and struggling.

Dani Carvajal has been caught out a number of times this season, and he may be having the worst campaign of his legendary Real Madrid career. Once the best right back in Europe, Carvajal is nowhere near that list right now, and he is merely proving that he can still be the undisputed starter heading into 2022/23.

Real are already being linked with big-name right backs, such as the player who stood out in the last Champions League round, Reece James.

Things will not get any easier for Carvajal in the second leg against Manchester City, but with help from Fede Valverde, a bounce-back performance from the Spaniard is not out of the question.

CM Toni Kroos

I considered giving the returning Casemiro a nod here, but with how much Real Madrid missed him defensively in his absence, he has a lot less to prove than the player who struggled arguably more than anyone else in his absence, Toni Kroos.

Truthfully, Kroos was also awful in the previous Champions League match before the 4-3 defeat at the Etihad, and we all remember his heated reaction to Carlo Ancelotti (rightfully) subbing him for Eduardo Camavinga to save the game.

Some Madridistas are erroneously burying Kroos as a player when he is still one of the best midfielders in the world – a fact he has proven multiple times this season, including recently in a 3-2 comeback win over Sevilla.

Changes Real Madrid must make vs. Manchester City. dark. Next

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Yet it is still fair to say that we expect a lot more from a player of Kroos’ caliber on the big Champions League nights. With Kevin de Bruyne soaking up the plaudits and cooking up game-breaking passes, Kroos needs to have his own counter on Wednesday night. Otherwise, Real Madrid could be in trouble and may have to turn to Camavinga to save the day again.