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Open Thread: December 14, 2020.

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

UEFA

Hola Madridistas!

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail or Oscnar.

Champion’s League Draw.

The round of 16 draw takes place today at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland at 12pm CET . Since Real Madrid are seeded as a result of winning the group, they may face Porto, Atalanta, Lazio or Leipzig as covered by Lucas Navarrete. You can follow along the live streaming of the draw on UEFA’s official website.

Real Madrid Femenino Hammer Espanyol 8-1.

Las Blancas claimed their fifth straight win with ease against a struggling Espanyol side with six different players getting on the score sheet. With this win Las Blancas have climbed within one point of UD Granadilla at the top of the table. The game was covered by Grant Little and Om Arvind.

The Past Weekend.

The Royal Whites are fresh from a brilliant showing against Atleti. The performances of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema were of particular note, overwhelming the recently lauded midfield of Koke and Marcos Llorente. Showing there is no let up in Real Madrid’s battle to retain their La Liga crown, the squad on Sunday was back to training at Valdebebas. Fede Valverde’s entrance into the game after an injury to his shin, though it came in the 88th minute, was a moment for Madridistas to celebrate. With Casemiro suspended for the next game he could be slotted into the starting lineup against Bilbao.

Dani Carvajal, author of that beautiful blast on Saturday, had a message for the Madridistas:

The Upcoming Schedule.

Los Blancos could do with a period for recovery, particularly with Modric and Kroos logging in consecutive games with heavy kilometers traversed, but the schedule offers no such reprieve. On Tuesday, Real Madrid face down Athletic Bilbao at the Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium. Athletic Club sit twelfth in the table, having just drawn 2-2 with Valencia on Saturday. Bilbao typically feature Asier Villalibre as a center forward with Iker Muniain sitting behind in the number 10 role. This season mid-table La Liga sides have shied away from playing open football with Real Madrid, instead setting up in a low-block and hoping to catch Madrid on the counter with speedsters such as Iñaki Williams. It will be worth noting Los Blancos approach to this common strategy as well as how much attacking football the Lions intend to risk.

Contract Renewals.

With the veterans once again proving they’re not done playing at the highest level, a few contract renewals could be on the cards. Notably those of Ramos, Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric. ABC Deportes has reported that Real Madrid will try finalizing the details of Sergio Ramos’ contract renewal before the end of December. Modric and Vazquez could follow suit.