Vinicius, Phantom Menace

The Brazilian will start in the league almost two months later. Madrid only have 14 men from the first team available. Pacheta recovers Sandro and Ontiveros for the duel.


Zidane returned in the most flammable state in his memory. His unusual tension reveals the extreme situation in Madrid in emotional and artistic terms. For Huesca, after seven casualties due to injury, Militao's suspension and Odegaard's escape, there are fourteen players left from the first team (follow the game live on The call remained at 17, with the subsidiaries Altube, Chust and Marvin. It is only good news for Vinicius, for almost two months the phantom threat of the team. He is still 20 years old and is younger than team players such as Hugo Duro, Marvin or Altube, who exceptionally slip into Zidane's lists, but his price points at him. Also that Madrid signed Hazard for his position or that Rodrygo, Lucas and Asensio have entered Zidane's eye.

Since Hazard's recovery, Vinicius has gone downhill. First he lost options and then confidence. December 15 was his last league game as a starter (his name was registered in Alcoy's cupbearer's disgrace). Since then he has not spent half an hour in any meeting, nor has he scored, nor has he attended, nor is he remembered a notable action. A full-blown disappearance. So the game against Huesca, with Hazard, Lucas and Rodrygo injured, is the window through which to sneak in again, especially considering that the Belgian will miss a month. Even Isco, the only remaining competitor, got out of the car due to back discomfort, although he was seen training normally in the images served by Madrid.

Ramos' caution

Ramos is not on time either. The data portray the relevance of the captain, whose renewal continues in the Arctic: he has missed ten games in the course and Madrid have lost half of them. For four years he had not accumulated so many absences. Months after finishing his contract, he has become exceptionally cautious. So, with Militao sanctioned, Nacho may have to play, who has only been training for three after more than two weeks off due to COVID. Carvajal is also still out, which will give Odriozola the opportunity to play his fourth consecutive game when between September and mid-January he had only had 57 minutes.

Madrid is now further away from the title than from the drama. The third day begins, with Villarreal, fifth, five points behind (and one more game). That reminds him that there is life beyond Atalanta. The Huesca, on the other hand, tries to shake off the depression of the bottom. He has been there since 2021 began, but the arrival of Pacheta has given him a first boost. He did not win against Michel until mid-December, but the addition of the new coach has given him four points in the last three games.

Without gunpowder

Pacheta has brought an optimistic speech ("We don't have the points we deserve", "No one goes down in January", "Have a passion for studying and you will pass"), a drawing with three centrals and a certain air of rupture: Michel's lineup to the last of Burgos has only repeated five players. In addition, he recovers props like Sandro, with whom he had not been able to count until now, or Ontiveros, after his sanction has been completed. And if you look up, you see salvation within a match. Vavro, the only winter signing, is not yet ready.

Huesca has been until now a team with better data than results, a victim fundamentally of two sins: the lack of gunpowder and the bad defense of the set pieces. He does not even reach the goal per game with an average of ten shots, a record of the equatorial teams of the table, and they have scored more goals than anyone else in set plays: 12. Pacheta seems to bring another plan less pretentious than Michel's . In fact, his ball possession rate has dropped five points (from 49% to 44%) in the last two games and, interestingly, he has not lost any of them. He has the faith that Madrid is beginning to lack and that equates a lot a match between the two poles of the League.

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