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Open Thread: April 17, 2022

The Sunday Edition of the Daily Merengue

Real Madrid Training Session Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via 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 lx or NeRObutBlanco.

Matchday!! Off to the Sanchez Pizjuan.

Huge game tonight where Los Blancos travel to Seville to take on third place Sevilla. If they win, Madrid will have taken a massive step towards picking up their 35th La Liga trophy.

How will Sevilla setup?

Sevilla’s home form this season has been excellent, picking up 37 points from their 15 league matches, remaining unbeaten in the process, but they will be welcoming a Real Madrid team with the best away record in Spain’s top flight this term, claiming 35 points from their 15 fixtures.

Julen Lopetegui’s side managed to record a huge 4-2 victory over Granada last Friday, with Rafa Mir and Alejandro Gomez coming off the bench to score in stoppage time, and the result, coupled with a defeat for Atletico Madrid, left them in third spot in the table on 60 points. Rafa Mir’s performance off the bench against Granada might earn the Spaniard a starting role in this match, but the bulk of the side that started last weekend should remain in place.

Indeed, Anthony Martial, Lucas Ocampos and Jesus Manuel Corona are set to continue in the attacking midfield areas, with Ivan Rakitic and Joan Jordan set to operate in the middle of the park. The solid backline of Jesus Navas, Kounde, Diego Carlos and Augustinsson will be difficult to breach. Should be one hell of a game.

Sevilla possible starting lineup:

Bounou; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Augustinsson; Jordan, Rakitic; Ocampos, Martial, Corona; Rafa Mir

Why not Alaba on the left?

With both Marcelo and Mendy out, Nacho is expected to take control of the left flank but wouldn’t we be more effective if Alaba played there instead. For starters he’s familiar with the position having played there many times at Bayern so why not give it a go. Nacho seems far more comfortable at center back than left back in any case.

How much game time is considered good enough before we move on from a player?

With Asensio seeming to have recently fallen down the pecking order and with rumors of Milan coming for him circulating, I’ve been thinking of whether he’s been given a fair shot at a starting spot or not? In this case I certainly think he has had more than enough opportunities. He’s an excellent player with a fantastic left foot but doesn’t seem to have that ‘never say die’ quality needed of every single squad member. Ironically this is also his best ever season in terms of scoring, but he’s a player that thrives in space and if given enough time on the ball can be lethal. The opposition rarely gives Madrid that kind of room and he seems to buckle when the game gets intense. In my opinion it’s time to move on from Asensio. What do ya’ll think? Should we be more patient? How much game time is good enough to fairly judge a player?

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