Mariano and ten more

He has only played 469 minutes in a year and a half and has scored two goals, but Benzema's loss makes him the only remedy. Madrid only have 13 first team players.


Turn to account. Madrid half out today beating Valladolid and Real Sociedad to appear in the derby with a precariously salvageable disadvantage. That would mean chaining four consecutive wins in the League, something he has only achieved once this season. And he finds the most difficult yet: the injury of Benzema, the team's only goal-scoring production plant. Those are your private accounts. Those of Valladolid are public and Sergio González explained them after drawing in Eibar: "There are fifteen games left and you have to win five or six to save yourself." To meet Valladolid they have to change their cruising speed, winning one out of every three games when until now they have only been able to do so in one out of every six. The data keeps him in a relegation position, but still within the peloton: seven teams scored five points, all candidates for that penultimate position that he condemns. The territory of fear (follow the game live on .

Madrid is already in the waiting room for the Champions League, its headquarters, but without the possibility of managing efforts. His bye week has not given him to recover any of his eight injured and, in addition, he loses Benzema, his only reliable scorer. He has scored one in three goals for Madrid this season and has participated in 54% of those scored by the team in the League. Only three players are missing from the luxury eleven, but they are the most sought-after of the squad: the French, Ramos and Hazard, although in the case of the Belgian the real luxury has been to find him healthy. Nine injuries, COVID and 320 days off season and a half contemplate him.

Two goals in a year and a half

From the first squad there are thirteen available, among which are the substitute goalkeeper, Lunin, and Isco, long away from the front. The malagueño has been in eighteen games between the League and the Champions League without being a starter. Since November 8 he was only in the unfortunate eleven of Alcoy. For his part, Mariano has only taken 469 minutes from Benzema in a year and a half. And he has not been the scorer of immediate effect of other years, whose minute-goal ratio was impressive. This season he has scored one and in the past, another. They are his worst records since he began his career in the first Spanish and French divisions. And well that Madrid has noticed, which is behind Atlético in this chapter for the first time in 23 years. The castillista Hugo Duro is plan C.

Valladolid, which also regrets seven casualties, recovers four important players: Joaquín, San Emeterio and Alcaraz, who have served their sanctions, and Óscar Plano, after his injury. At least three will start in a capicúa team. It started badly (three points in the first eight days) and has now fallen (three points in the last six). He has not won since January 2 and the first great crisis of faith over Sergio is already very visible, the coach who in April 2018 took the team eleventh in Second, promoted it and has kept it two seasons in First. In fact, today he will celebrate 100 consecutive games as head of the Blanquivioleta team in the highest category, a figure that no other reached.

The reinforcements

He will not be able to count on Olaza, sanctioned, one of the two winter reinforcements, closed in an express negotiation. The other, Kenan Kodro, arrives out of rhythm because he only played 95 minutes for Athletic before signing. The question pending clarification is whether Sergio will put in a fifth midfielder (Kike) or will keep both ends (Guardiola and Weissman). All with the team in the relegation zone, although in a situation not too alarming yet.

Valladolid is the second-lowest scoring team at home and Madrid the highest scoring team at home. In fact, Valdebebas has been the lead in Zidane's team backpack this season and that forces him to play agonizingly every day. Today you will not be alone. The Pucela will accompany you in your anguish.

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