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Open Thread: February 8, 2021

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

ESP: SD Huesca - Real Madrid. La Liga Santander. Photo by Pressinphoto / Icon Sport

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.

The Agenda for Real Madrid

Los Blancos will make up matchday 1 vs. Getafe this Tuesday, February 9, at 21:00 CET / 15:00 EST. It was postponed due to European participation.

Getafe has a style that is known for being physically punishing, both in tackling and pressuring. They were defeated Saturday 3-0 by Sevilla with Djene Dakonam taking a red card for a horror of a challenge to the ankle of Sevilla’s Argentine star Lucas Ocampos.

José Bordalás sets his team up with its characteristic narrow, tight lines. The result is often a grinding task for opponents, requiring moments of invention on the ball and rapid switches of play to break down their defensive formation. We normally see two strikers up front, out of Jaime Mata, Cucho Hernández, and Enes Ünal, who focus their energy on forcing mistakes from center-backs. Nemanja Maksimović comes forward effectively from a defensive midfielder position as a second layer of high pressuring.

Los Blancos will only have 12 regular first-teamers available to them, with midfield maestro Toni Kroos out with yellow card accumulation and Sergio Ramos out with a meniscus problem in his knee that required surgery. This is the sort of game in LaLiga where Ramos’ and Kroos’ on-field direction and vision are essential to maintaining Real Madrid’s controlling style and ball progression into the attacking third. All eyes will be focused on who gets their turn in the first team and also on who will be thrown into a difficult midfield pressing situation.

Marca: ‘Militao and Odriozola await medical tests’

At a time when Real Madrid’s problems with player availability apparently could not get worse, Madridistas may be faced with more bad news.

Sergio Ramos and Eden Hazard are out for the next several weeks, while Lucas Vazquez, Isco, Fede Valverde, Dani Carvajal and Rodrygo have all had injuries recently too and could only complete partial work on the pitches on Sunday.Now, Alvaro Odriozola and Eder Militao could both be out injured too. That’s according to Cadena Cope, who explain (sic) that they are waiting for the results of medical tests.With Toni Kroos out suspended for the midweek game against Getafe too, this leaves Zidane with only 10 senior outfielders who are definitely available for the match.

Which Real Madrid line-up do you think is most effective on the attack?

Well, C-Trick examines the data and also some of what the data may not show.

When it comes to attack, there are two combos worth highlighting. The first is Asensio-Benzema-Vazquez — they have the best scoring ratio so far averaging a little over two goals a game. The other attacking band that stands out from the rest is Benzema-Rodrygo-Vinicius who are by far the most effective in terms of generating shots on target — at almost eight (!) per ninety minutes. With the news of Hazard’s injury and Rodrygo’s return to training, this could be a solution for Zidane.

Keylor Navas named CONCACAF player of the decade

The cat-like quick Costa Rican goalkeeper was given a recognition of his greatness over the last ten years by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics this Saturday. He won a total of twelve titles with Real Madrid including three consecutive European Champions Leagues and a LaLiga championship.

Sergej Milinković-Savić has a dream of playing for Real Madrid