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Domestic Troubles at Real Madrid
07 March 2018, 12:15
Domestic Troubles at Real Madrid
ninopavisic / Shutterstock.com

If you cast your mind back to June 2017, Zinedine Zidane had just masterminded a second consecutive Champions League success for Real Madrid. A victory that came just a month after landing a first La Liga title since 2012.

It seemed as if Los Blancos were set for more domestic dominance this season especially after making light work of Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup just two months after their 4-1 win over Juventus in Cardiff.

However, that two-legged win over Barcelona now looks as if is the ‘Galacticos’ either peaked to early in this campaign or it was final act from this superstar squad that it is now reaching the end of its cycle.

Many felt that it was going to be Barcelona that were going to be in a state of transition this season as new manager Ernesto Valverde took over the reigns at the Nou Camp while also losing Neymar to PSG for a world record transfer fee.

But if anything, this Barcelona side have gone from strength to strength, they are currently unbeaten in La Liga and are heavy favourites to go on and wrestle back the La Liga crown from the clutches of Real Madrid.

If things are going so right for the Catalan giants, just why has this not been the case for the team from the Spanish capital. Many will point to the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo’s powers are slightly on the wane.

He may well be finally finding his feet in terms of La Liga goals this season after an incredibly slow start by his own high standards, but you could argue that these additions to his goal tally have only come once the pressure of a title race is non-apparent.

Critics will point to the fact that he was a mere footnote in the first La Liga El Clasico of the season as Barcelona won 3-0 at the Bernabeu, in a game which saw the home side finish the game with 10 men and Zinedine Zidane lauded with boos due to some baffling substitutions.

Perhaps it is a case that the former World Cup winner has pushed this group of players as far as he can, and they quite simply have nothing left to give, both physically and mentally. When you’ve reached the summit of Europe two years in a row then eventually the only way is down.

Looking at the Real Madrid squad you could accuse Zidane of being too loyal to some of the players who have delivered their recent success, while it is quite apparent that this squad will require an overhaul in the summer.

If the gap is already seismic between themselves and their arch rivals Barcelona then they can ill afford to stick with the same group of players for next season as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema will be a year older with their powers already visibly diminishing.

The most pertinent question that must be asked is whether Zinedine Zidane will be the man to oversee the change in squad personnel. After the success he has delivered to the club over the past few years then he will be saved the ignominy of the sack but there may well be an amicable parting of ways at the end of the season.

Predictions for La Liga

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_5 Es1
SD HuescaAthletic Bilbao
18/02/2019 20:00
X
flag_5 Es1
SD EibarGetafe CF
15/02/2019 20:00
X
flag_5 Es1
Celta de VigoLevante UD
16/02/2019 12:00
1
flag_5 Es1
Rayo VallecanoAtlético Madrid
16/02/2019 15:15
2

Spain La Liga - predictions, tips, statistics

Featured match

Home team - Away team Forebet
Nl2
Jong PSV
FC Twente

18/02/2019 19:00
2

OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Barcelona 54 24 16 6 2 61 23 38
2. Atlético Madrid 47 24 13 8 3 34 17 17
3. Real Madrid 45 24 14 3 7 41 29 12
4. Sevilla FC 37 24 10 7 7 38 28 10
5. Getafe CF 36 24 9 9 6 30 21 9
6. Deportivo Alavés 36 24 10 6 8 25 28 -3
7. Real Sociedad 34 24 9 7 8 30 25 5
8. Real Betis 33 24 9 6 9 27 30 -3
9. Valencia CF 32 24 6 14 4 24 20 4
10. SD Eibar 31 24 7 10 7 33 34 -1
11. Levante UD 30 24 8 6 10 36 43 -7
12. RCD Espanyol 29 24 8 5 11 27 37 -10
13. CD Leganes 29 24 7 8 9 25 30 -5
14. Athletic Bilbao 27 23 5 12 6 23 28 -5
15. Girona FC 27 24 6 9 9 25 34 -9
16. Real Valladolid 26 24 6 8 10 19 29 -10
17. Celta de Vigo 24 24 6 6 12 36 43 -7
18. Villarreal CF 23 24 4 11 9 26 31 -5
19. Rayo Vallecano 23 24 6 5 13 27 41 -14
20. SD Huesca 18 23 4 6 13 23 39 -16

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