La Liga is finally returning after a short (but mostly painful) spell that is the international break.
Still, things are finally getting back to normal and as club football returns, so do Real Madrid in their attempts to continue their successful run in the Spanish top-flight.
As things currently stand, Zinedine Zidane’s troops have managed to claw their way back to the very peak of the mountain and are enjoying their view in front of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the moment.
Of course, a lot can change in a single game since the Catalans are only two points behind while Los Blancos’ city rivals are trailing only by three. For that reason, Zidane won’t really have a chance to breathe and this game, just as any other in the tight and exciting race that is La Liga, will definitely be important as a whole.
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Still, a really tough schedule lies ahead for Real Madrid even after their weekend trip to Mallorca.
First, they will have a mid-week Champions League clash, which is something Zidane simply can’t afford not to win.
After all, Real Madrid only have one point under their belts after the first two clashes in Europe – their curtain-raiser was a heavy defeat in France to Paris Saint-Germain and the follow-up game was equally disappointing as the Galacticos only managed to draw with Club Brugge at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Needless to say, that makes their next Champions League challenge a must-win game if they want to be real contenders in Europe this season.
But that’s not all – not nearly.
The weekend after that, if everything goes according to plan and La Liga don’t change anything, Real Madrid will travel across the country and visit Catalonia for the first El Clasico of the season.
But with all the riots and unrest in Barcelona at the moment, the big derby is still under threat of being either postponed or just moved to a different venue. We are still awaiting any sort of confirmation from the upper management on that front.
Be that as it may, Real’s priority currently lies on the weekend clash against Mallorca but as important as it might be to win that game and take the three points, it will also be important that Zidane picks his battles correctly.
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This is something that we already quickly touched upon before when talking about a possibility of rotating the squad a bit, but one player that simply needs to be given his chance this weekend is definitely Luka Jovic.
The 21-year-old Serbian forward has been bought by Real Madrid last summer in a transfer that reportedly cost around £53.2m.
And even though Jovic arrived with a certain reputation, having previously scored 27 goals and assisted seven more in the 48 games he played for Eintracht Frankfurt across all competitions in 2018/19, the start to his career at the Spanish capital has been all but dreamy.
Sure, he played in seven games across all competitions this season already but he only started two of those games and managed to accumulate 218 minutes under his belt so far.
For such a young and aspiring striker, that is definitely not a praise-worthy statistic.
But this is exactly the type of game Jovic could use to not only boost his confidence but also to show Zidane that he can definitely be counted upon in situations like these.
And this is not meant as belittlement of the opposition – Mallorca will definitely offer some kind of resistance, especially given that their only wins of the ongoing season have come at their home ground.
But they are the newly-promoted side and they are also struggling to stay afloat at this point in the season already.
For those reasons, the decision to throw Jovic into the mix shouldn’t really be seen as a risky move but rather a smart one.
The benefits of it are enormous – the player gets the all-important game time he so craves, the coach possibly discovers a new asset to his team and the fans, who have already demanded Jovic be given more chances, will get what they’ve been calling for.
And even if it doesn’t work out and he fails to impact the game in the way Zidane had envisioned it, Real Madrid would still have rested some of the key players for a crucial week of football ahead and can still count on some of the game-changers they would have on their bench.
But Jovic hasn’t suddenly lost all of his abilities and a player that scored 36 goals in 75 games for Eintracht Frankfurt doesn’t just stop doing that all of a sudden.
All the young Serbian needs right now is a slight nudge in the right direction and he can burst out of his cocoon and start flying.
When everything is said and done, this truly looks like a perfect opportunity for Zidane to just put some trust into Jovic and do a leap of faith of sorts.
That’s usually how we come about the best of revelations anyway.
All it takes is a bit of bravery.