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What's Next for Real Madrid after losing 4-0 to Atlético de Madrid?

Is the future all doom and gloom? Well, not quite.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

After one of the most brutal, yet humbling, beatings Real Madrid has faced in recent years, it's easy to get down on oneself and wallow in a rut. Players are hurt while momentum clearly seems to be favoring Madrid's challengers for the title. On form, a strong argument could be made that Real Madrid is the third best club in the league, something many thought to be a silly notion during the club's massive win streak. However, there are still some positives on the horizon to keep an eye out for and it shouldn't be all gloom and doom for Carlo's men.


Valentine's Day will be a key one to gauge this club's mettle. A defensively-solid Depor side will visit Madrid but will be missing their two best centerbacks. Will Carlo's men come out with a point to prove, or will they be stuck in a post-Atleti malaise? Of note is how the first meeting of the season went, 8-2 in Madrid's favor just one week removed from the first loss to Atleti in the league, but that was a healthier Madrid and a Depor side which hadn't gotten its sea legs under it yet.

Depor is not a very good offensive club and though the defense has improved some, they still rank in the the bottom five of goals allowed in the league. If Real Madrid has proven to be one thing this season, it's a very good home side so this meeting could be just what's needed for the players to get a bit of confidence back and hopefully some (unlikely?) rotation minutes.


Speaking of, it's unlikely we'll see many new faces enter the fray this weekend as Carlo clearly has his preferred 11 and is sticking to it. I'm not one who wants rotation for the sake of rotation so I can see where he's coming from, but based on form an argument could be made that a couple of bench options should be seeing starting minutes soon. Iker Casillasat fault for the first Atleti goal or not, has had a pretty long stretch of league games in net while Keylor Navas is essentially rotting away on the bench given that the one competition he was going to get minutes in is the one in which Real Madrid is knocked out of. A spot start against offensively-challenged Depor could be useful for both keepers.

James Rodriguez's injury has forced Carlo's hand to start one of two midfielders he doesn't seem to have too much time for in Sami Khedira and Asier Illarramendi, but given that two out of the last three starts for Khedira has been shockingly mediocre, it might be time for Illarra to leapfrog him in the club's hierarchy. Carlo is seemingly convinced that Toni Kroos is a DM even though he's not, so ideally it would make sense to pair him and Isco with the one guy on the roster who can claim to be such a player, even though Carlo plays him higher than Kroos.

Lastly, Jese, and possibly even Chicharito, have to start. Carlo spoke of no one playing well and ideally his point would be made by benching at least one of the BBC for a match given that they all put in horrifically bad performances yesterday. Of course, this won't happen as Carlo prefers all of them to start when healthy, but something just doesn't look right between the three right now. Yesterday aside, the goals have been coming to an extent but play seems more forced, less planned but more accidental success. Jese has had a good run of games under his belt since his return and appears fit enough to play, Carlo has to see this and put it into effect.


Deportivo [H]
Schalke 04 [A]
Elche [A]
Villarreal [H]
Athletic Bilbao [A]
Schalke 04 [H]
Levante [H]
Barcelona [A]

Aside from Villarreal visiting the Bernabeu and possible annoyances at Bilbao and Schalke, the schedule sets itself up quite nicely for Madrid to get some injured players back into the fold before a massive showdown against Barca which could be the league decider. There'll still be a tough Sevilla-Valencia doubleheader later on but other than that the schedule post-Barca is quite manageable while Atleti and Barca will still face off in week 37. Also of note is that Atleti and Barca have much more difficult Champions League Round of 16 opponents than Real Madrid in Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester City, respectively.


Five of Carlo's preferred 11 missed the Atleti match. Half of his preferred outfielders. It shouldn't be an excuse and the team's problems went far beyond that, but when you look at the type of quality which wasn't available you can't help but be excited about the next couple of weeks as some of these guys will return.

Marcelo will be back this weekend, Pepe's return date is somewhere around the first Schalke match and Luka's estimated return to the pitch is in around 2-3 weeks. Them, coupled with Jese rounding into match fitness and Lucas SIlva as well, will be monumental in this club's league race and they should all have plenty of time to play themselves into form for the second Clasico of the season, one in which there is a chance that Sergio Ramos might take part in.

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