The test of nine

The Villamarín duel may mark a last minute maneuver for Madrid in the market to bring in a battering ram. Hazard and Asensio, out again. Pellegrini completes the morbid.

The arc of possibilities that Madrid will bring a nine that divides the heavy burden of the goal with Benzema, who should live in a bubble, goes from the absolute not of the club to everything is possible until October 5 that Zidane intoned in tone of supplication to whoever asks. Come on, it's raw.

Last year, Sergio Ramos scored as many goals (13) as Rodrygo, Bale, Jovic and Mariano together, and even so Madrid has decided not to go to the market based on two arguments, both reasonable: the ruinous effects of the pandemic and the piggy bank for Mbappé. In return, he has sold homegrown players for 100 million. But Zidane looks closer and left a message in Anoeta by not even heating up Mayoral (the next source of income) and Jovic with a 0-0 aiming at him (Mariano is still invisible). There has been no reply. It seems that in this the Frenchman has the upper hand to lose, but a bad result against Betis can soften Florentino if he senses the danger of the year thrown in (follow the game live on .

Y is that the French also have their arguments. In none of the last nine games of last year, in which the title was decided, did Madrid score more than two goals. Courtois and the defensive application were the factors that led to his success. In that crucial stretch Jovic played 30 minutes and Mariano, 20. Neither of them painted anything. And nothing indicates that his luck will change. Only a second game without victory could declare a state of exception. And the exception is that a transitory nine arrives.

Hazard, that goes for case, stayed in Madrid, like Asensio, who is not sure of a goal either (six in his best year). Instead, Odegaard is ready after the yes but no of the COVID tests. And it is taken for sure that Casemiro, surprising substitute at the premiere, will have a place. It also seems clear that Vinicius will continue as a starter while the Belgian refines and Modric, Kroos, Odegaard and Valverde will share three places.

An armored Betis

At Betis the wind has changed. The club signed Pellegrini, who at 67 years of age still maintains a good reputation, to match the quality of the squad with the results. The Chilean was the first commander of the second Florentine era (2009). He only lost 7 games out of 48, but they were the ones he shouldn't have: the alcorconazo, both against Barça and the eighth of Champions against Lyon, a failure that was not repeated until last year. So to the president, the 96 points, the club's second best historical record, seemed like a weak defense after having spent 258 million in his biggest transfer spree: Cristiano, Kaká, Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Albiol… 444 444Then, El Ingeniero went up and down (Málaga, City, who became champion, China and West Ham) until he reached a depressed Betis that began to see life differently: three victories in the three mini-pre-season games and two more in this League without conceding a goal repeating eleven and with only one signing in him (the Chilean Bravo). Today he could insist on that triumphal lineup or change it minimally: Sanabria, who returns from his assignment at Genoa and was again at the starting door, for Borja Iglesias, who is in a blackout. Loren, after a long loss due to COVID, has lost his place, Behind will be the art gang: Fekir, Joaquín and Canales. A team that sounds good and that already beat this Zidane troop before the state of alarm. It was Madrid's last defeat in the League. A heads up for this short bullet champion.

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