It’s here. Real Madrid’s first game under new coach Julen Lopetegui and also the first one after the surprising departures of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane. Los Blancos will be forced to find a new way to succeed and they will have to do it against a tough Atletico de Madrid team who have made good signings this summer. Here are three keys to a Real Madrid win.
- Gareth Bale. A fantastic pre-season for the Welshman. He’s carried Madrid’s attacking line on his back —Asensio deserves to be mentioned as well— and he will be required to do that exact same thing all season long now that Ronaldo is gone. It’s time for him to prove that he can lead this team and he could make a statement with a quality performance.
- Contain Atletico’s flanks. They’ve signed Thomas Lemar and Gelson Martins and while it seems that only the Frenchman will be in the starting lineup, it will be crucial for Madrid to stop their runs, especially now that Los Blancos will press so high up the pitch.
- A strong performance from Navas. Real Madrid signed Thibaut Courtois this summer but he won’t be starting against Atletico. However, it will be extremely important for Madrid to have a focused Keylor Navas who doesn’t try to do too much now that he’s going to compete for a spot in the XI. No mistakes tonight, Keylor.