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Three reasons behind Real Madrid's recent struggles

Los Blancos should be able to bounce back.

Real Madrid CF v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid have struggled lately, that's no secret. Los Blancos lost what should have been a manageable game against Valencia, had to come back miraculously in Villarreal and couldn't beat Las Palmas at the Bernabeu after conceding three goals.

Something is not working as it should and coach Zinedine Zidane must solve it if he wants to win La Liga this season.

  1. Zidane is making simple mistakes. Casemiro shouldn't be out of the squad against a possession-oriented team like Las Palmas. Many fans, analysts and writers —including myself— have been saying that Casemiro isn't needed against lesser opponents, but Las Palmas like to move the ball around and his physical presence is needed against them. The French coach probably didn't expect Las Palmas to play that way at the Bernabeu, but they did and Casemiro wasn't there to help him. In the end, the visitors had the ball 57% of the time against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. They deserve credit for that brave gameplan but Zidane should have known his opponent better.
  2. Keylor Navas isn't the same player he once was. Yes, he made some saves when Madrid were already down 1-3 in the scoreboard, but it's clear that he could've done much better on Las Palmas' third goal and also on Valencia's second one. Coach Zidane has to make a decision about the Costa Rican keeper, but Real Madrid will most likely try to sign a goalkeeper next summer after Navas' recent performances.
  3. What's wrong with Marcelo? The Brazilian left back is playing one of his worst seasons since he became the star he is today. Marcelo is a liability on defense —as he usually is even when he's in great form— but he is not creating much on offense. To make things worse, Zidane doesn't really have any kind of replacement, so Real Madrid have to hope that the Brazilian defender bounces back and helps them in the run for the title.

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