This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Real Madrid are once again turning towards La Liga and will have a tough challenge of keeping their first place in the table intact. Up next, the Whites will face off against Granada and the key to that battle might lie in their newcomer Galactico, Eden Hazard.
On paper, Granada don’t look like the most difficult opponent for Real Madrid – especially considering that they are one of the newly promoted sides that’s just trying to survive in the Spanish first league. However, not only have they been surviving so far but they’ve also recorded some impressive results along the way.
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Currently, Granada sit in second, just one place and one point below Los Blancos themselves and if Zinedine Zidane and his troops are not at their best, these newcomers to the league just might challenge the big boys for that top spot this Saturday evening.
But a lot of that might depend on one key individual battle that will most likely be raging on the pitches of Santiago Bernabeu – Hazard could come face to face with Granada’s skilled defender on the right, Victor Diaz.
We all know what Real Madrid’s new signing is capable of.
After all, we’ve seen him tear Premier League apart back when he was at Chelsea, scoring 110 goals during his stay at Stamford Bridge, but for some reason, Hazard is taking a bit longer to adapt to both Real Madrid and La Liga in general.
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As a result, he is yet to find the net or assist one of his teammates in the five games he played for Los Blancos across all competitions in the 2019/20 season.
Still, he will have to be at his best to get past Diaz on that left flank. So far, Hazard has averaged one shot, 1.3 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game and taking Diaz’s numbers into consideration, the Belgian just might have to up his game come Saturday afternoon.
The 31-year-old defender has 2.1 tackles, one interception and 2.4 clearances per game this season in La Liga, and has only been dribbled past 1.1 times per game so far.
By all means, it seems that there might be a tall task ahead of Zidane’s Galactico in that clash but it’s also a crucial one for their team as a whole.
Let’s see if Hazard can finally get rid of his shackles and let out the player we know it’s out there somewhere.