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Open Thread: September 10, 2021

Our Friday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Uruguay v Ecuador - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier Photo by Ernesto Ryan/Getty Images

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, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Valverde plays in WC Qualifier

The Real Madrid midfielder played the full time in Uruguay’s 1-0 win over a tough Ecuador.

AS reports: Uruguay forward Agustín Álvarez Martínez (“Canario”) has caught RM’s eye

Speaking of Uruguay:

Thursday training at the Valdebebas

Most of the international players, including Alaba, Benzema, Courtois and Jovic, were back and getting ready for Celta de Vigo on Sunday. Bale and Hazard will join the Friday training session.

Camavinga was training with the team:

Looking ahead to Celta Vigo

  • Celta have one point from three games (L 2-1 vs Atletico Madrid; L 1-0 vs Athletic Club; D 0-0 vs Osasuna).
  • Key players: Iago Aspas: The veteran forward is 34, but he always manages to be a thorn and do some kind of damage. Renato Tapia: the Peruvian defensive midfielder plays with aggression and physicality, probably Celta’s best player. Brais Méndez: Spain international midfielder, age 24, plays on the right side. Santi Mina: Spain international forward / striker, age 25, known for getting shots out of nothing and broken plays. Nolito: Spain international attacking midfielder, age 34, last season put in nine goals. Denis Suarez: age 27, central midfielder, once considered a top prospect for Barcelona, but is still looking to make his mark on the top flight of football.
  • How this game could play out. Against Atleti, Celta played a 4-1-3-2, designed to crowd the middle of the pitch and help Tapia make their middle difficult to play through. Aspas, Nolito, Suarez, Mendez and Mina are not an imposing pressure core, so relatively speaking it should be a calmer game for Real Madrid’s central defenders and build-up play. Celta will be looking to force the ball wide, absorb attacks with the low block, and hit on the counter.
  • For Real Madrid, defensive softness early on this season was then fixed in the Betis match. The main element lacking so far has been the characteristic Real Madrid control in midfield. We should expect to see effective closing down of Celta’s space in midfield, better organized pressure on the ball to disrupt possession patterns and create turnovers, and slicker progression to the final third. Modric, Isco and Blanco look to be the trio for this start, with Camavinga possibly able to come in for a spell, and they are capable of dominating this battle. In the final third, of course, Benzema, Vinicius Jr. and Bale will continue to be extremely dangerous and creative. Let’s hear what lineup you envision.

Via Madrid Xtra: The Modric family celebrated dad’s birthday.

¡Que cumplas muchos más!