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Real Madrid's Tactics With Higuaín Sidelined; Plus, What Happened in Levante?

C/O CNN.com
So I just wrote a new piece for Bleacher Report analyzing Madrid's striker conundrum--you can check it out here. I basically argue that Madrid has two options: (1) to use Mou's classical 4-2-3-1 strategy, but with Benzema or Morata playing in Higuaín's traditional "false 9" role, or (2) or to switch to a 4-6-0 like Manchester United used in the 2007-2008 season, with Kaká or Cristiano in the center forward role.

A commenter pointed out that we actually used a formation similar to a 4-6-0 in the 2001-2002 season, when we won the Champions League. Zidane played in a center forward position, as Raúl plays more like a midfielder in any case.  Raúl is the prototypical false 9 in that he excels at creating space and setting up goals with his speed and spatial awareness, dropping deep to draw out the opposition.

We also lost to Levante 2-0 today in the return leg of the Copa del Rey. While this result is disappointing, it's understandable given that we won the first leg 8-0. We started most of our canteranos, and Kaká played for more than 30 minutes--Benzema started, along with a few other first-teamer's, so it's not like we didn't try. The team still looked listless and void of ideas, but we should be winning this kind of game no matter what--we're a better team, and I expected that the youth players and the substitutes would be able to offer more than this poor performance.

Then again, maybe we shouldn't read too far into this, as we were already qualified and didn't want to risk injury. Hopefully we begin to figure out some of our issues before our Champions League tie with Lyon.