Zinedine Zidane has made just one change to the starting lineup that led Real Madrid to victory against Valladolid ahead of this evening’s Champions League knockout tie against Atalanta.
With Los Blancos massively hit with injuries, the bench is made of predominantly academy players, with Mariano the only option that has serious experience with the senior team, that’s saying something.
The sole change that Zidane has made is to bring Isco into the fold in an apparent ‘False 9’ role for Mariano, this is certainly an audacious move, but they need someone with Karim Benzema still out.
Atalanta sit 5th in Serie A, having won three of their last five league games, Jean Piero Gasperini’s side are starting to become fixtures in the Champions League after a few brilliant seasons.
Take a look at Los Blancos’ lineup below:
— Real Madrid C.F. ???? (@realmadriden) February 24, 2021
Here’s how some of the Madrid faithful have reacted to Zidane’s teamsheet:
Cant see vini and asensio as a 4-4-2 striker pair so I assume isco is a F9 striker 🙂
— Robert Penny (@OSR_Bopop) February 24, 2021
So we don’t have a striker? Thanks to Zidane for not giving time to Jovic and sending him on loan
— Xpgamer (@Xpgamer11) February 24, 2021
No way!! ??
I really hope there’s a good performance.
— Sag (@SagGue) February 24, 2021
From the strongest bench in Europe to one of the poorest.
Thank you Zidane!
— RealMadridClubdeFutbol ? (@real_meerage) February 24, 2021
Lineup is good , but what’s with the bench.
— DarkLord23 (@firestarball50) February 24, 2021
Who are those other guys on the bench???? ?
— Kgaugelo MPH (@KGenius247) February 24, 2021
The state of this bench…
— V? (@KaizerTK8) February 24, 2021
The injuries are going to make us loose
— David Gonzalez (@rcnbtr17) February 24, 2021
isco false 9? 1% chance 99% faith.
— D, A. (@divine__a) February 24, 2021
Isco false 9??
— HardGuy?? (@whentonn) February 24, 2021
Is the bench that scares me the most just look at the bench!!!!
— Dan009 (@Dan81122407) February 24, 2021
Zidane has been heavily criticised for the decision to field Isco as the frontman as opposed to a natural centre-forward in Mariano, but the Spanish-Dominican has played a very minimal role since returning to Madrid so the Frenchman may have made a move that makes the attack better overall.