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The Struggles of Real Madrid
29 October 2018, 18:22
The Struggles of Real Madrid

El Clasico is always a big game, whatever the situation of the two teams involved but on Sunday it had huge ramifications for Julen Lopetegui.

Having left the Spanish World Cup squad to take over at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer, things could not have gone worse for the Real Madrid manager. It has been a dreadful start to the 2018/19 season and to add to what was already a dire situation, Real Madrid lost 5-1 to Barcelona on the weekend.

You must only go back 8 years to find a worse defeat for Real Madrid against Barcelona but this seems much worse due to their overall form and position in the table.  Having lost the match heavily in the Camp Nou, Real Madrid find themselves down in 9th place in La Liga, which is astonishing considering their status in European football.

This is a club which is defending their Champions League title this season, having won it for a third successive season in May this year.  However, Los Blancos have only won La Liga once in the past seven seasons and did not come close last season, finishing 17 points adrift of Barcelona in third place.

Not winning La Liga has been the norm for Real Madrid fans over the past several years but they have always had a team capable of winning big games and most importantly, the Champions League.

Two of the men involved in the three successive Champions League wins left the club and that’s where the problems began.  Zinedine Zidane led Real Madrid to all three of those Champions League victories and in each campaign, Cristiano Ronaldo finished as the top goal scorer.

Any club in the world would struggle to come to terms with losing two greats of the game together.  The goals of Ronaldo have been a huge miss and Real Madrid went five games without a win prior to the Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen, which was far from convincing.  They have scored 3 goals in their last seven games, a statistic which seems remarkable considering Real Madrid’s recent goal scoring exploits.

Defensively Real Madrid have been just as bad and the 5 goals conceded against Barcelona means they have kept just a single clean sheet in their last seven games across all competitions.

So, is this the managers fault?

Several key Real Madrid players are out of form. Whatever the reason, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Thibaut Courtois, Nacho and Gareth Bale have been below their best this season.  Florentino Pérez is not afraid to sack his manager mid-way through a season and the odds suggest Lopetegui is going to be shown the door this week.  The Spaniard is clearly not getting the best out of his players or his methods are simply not working.

However, there was no plan in place to adequately replace Zidane and Ronaldo in the summer and there appears to be no long term plan in place.  Could we be about to see Real Madrid drop out of the reckoning at the top of La Liga and European football?

Predictions for La Liga

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_5 Es1
CD Leganes
Deportivo Alavés

23/11/2018 20:00
2
flag_5 Es1
SD Eibar
Real Madrid

24/11/2018 12:00
2
flag_5 Es1
Valencia CF
Rayo Vallecano

24/11/2018 15:15
X
flag_5 Es1
SD Huesca
Levante UD

24/11/2018 17:30
2

Spain La Liga - predictions, tips, statistics
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Barcelona 24 12 7 3 2 34 18 16
2. Sevilla FC 23 12 7 2 3 24 14 10
3. Atlético Madrid 23 12 6 5 1 16 8 8
4. Deportivo Alavés 23 12 7 2 3 17 12 5
5. RCD Espanyol 21 12 6 3 3 16 10 6
6. Real Madrid 20 12 6 2 4 20 16 4
7. Real Valladolid 17 12 4 5 3 9 9 0
8. Levante UD 17 12 5 2 5 18 19 -1
9. Girona FC 17 12 4 5 3 13 14 -1
10. Real Sociedad 16 12 4 4 4 15 14 1
11. Getafe CF 16 12 4 4 4 11 10 1
12. Real Betis 16 12 4 4 4 12 15 -3
13. SD Eibar 15 12 4 3 5 12 18 -6
14. Celta de Vigo 14 12 3 5 4 22 20 2
15. Valencia CF 14 12 2 8 2 8 9 -1
16. Villarreal CF 11 12 2 5 5 11 13 -2
17. Athletic Bilbao 10 12 1 7 4 13 19 -6
18. CD Leganes 10 12 2 4 6 9 16 -7
19. Rayo Vallecano 7 12 1 4 7 14 25 -11
20. SD Huesca 6 12 1 3 8 10 25 -15

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