After 19 games, we’re officially halfway through the 2019/20 and Real Madrid is having a good run so far. They’re tied at the top of LaLiga with rivals Barcelona (40 points) and haven’t lost a game since October 19 (1-0 against Mallorca). Lets look at some of the points from the mid-season mark.
Dependance on Benzema for goals remains a flaw
Zinedine Zidane has played various attacking lines this season and most of the time picks out Karim Benzema who has 13 goals to his name. But, the Frenchman has only found the back of the net once in the last five games. The rest of the team has been slow to step up. The players with the next highest tally is Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane (3 each) and then multiple players follow along with two or one. Looking ahead the club will have to find a way to consistently plug more goals if they want to keep up their good run. Benzema can only hold the team up for so long.
Fede Valverde is the real deal
The Uruguayan power house has been on fire this season. Having slowly built up his performances over the last season Valverde is beginning to show how crucial he is for the club despite being only 21 years old. Whether he has offensive of defensive duties, he is all over the pitch working the hardest he can for the club to help them grab three points. Working alongside Toni Kroos and Casemiro has been a huge benefit and they always do well with him on the pitch. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a regular starter for the rest of the season with Luka Modric moving to the bench.
Defence is the team’s saviour
The club is currently tied for with the least amount of goals scored against alongside Atletico Madrid (12 each). Really, when the team isn’t winning their defensive performances is what is saving them. Everyone in the defensive end of the pitch including the goalkeeper, centre backs, and wing backs is always putting in 110 per cent effort in the games. Thibaut Courtois has kept 10 clean sheets and the team averages 15.4 tackles per game. It’s numbers like these numbers that help save the club when they’re fighting for draws. Without the strong performances, Real might not be in the position they are in at the moment.
Injury list still a major problem
Over the last couple seasons the team has become injury prone and currently has some big names sitting out which leaves substitute options slim. At the moment, Eden Hazard, Lucas Vazquez, Marcelo and Marco Asensio are all strong players who are unavailable and James Rodriguez just recently came back to full fitness. Looking ahead to the rest of the season, it’s important that the club tries to limit the amount of injuries players receive, which is of course easier said than done. But, if the entire roster can be available for Zidane then the results could be even better moving forward. Just imagine where they could be if the club was at full strength.
The fight for the title will go right to the end of the season
The recent games against Valencia, Barcelona and Getafe have been promising ones for Real Madrid and they’ve truly worked hard to be at the top of the table. But, both Real and Barcelona haven’t been too convincing so far this season so it will take strong focus in the back half of the season for Los Blancos to pull away. There’s no more room for error anymore with the race so close and all the points available are beyond crucial.