A disappointing draw against Atletico Madrid in the league last weekend meant that Real Madrid have now slipped ten points behind leaders Barcelona. Zidane’s men finally won the La Liga trophy last year after a gap of four years but have made an abysmal start to their title defence this time around by dropping unnecessary points against much weaker opponents.
They are now third in the table, having collected 24 points from 12 matches, an average of 2 points per game. They trail second-placed Valencia by 6 points and Barcelona appears to have already run away with the title after a fantastic start that has seen the Catalan side collect 34 points from their 12 matches.
Although things took a turn for the better in the mid-week clash against Apoel Nicosia after Real drubbed the Cyprus side 6-0, the result was more of a formality than anything. While the defending European champions will qualify for the next round of Europe, they will surely finish second in the group behind Tottenham Hotspur.
Much has been made of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema’s form up front, with the talismanic Portuguese hitman scoring only one goal in his eight La Liga appearances this season. Benzema has also been criticized regularly by fans and media for his inability to finish off chances that are being fed to him on a platter.
Zidane has launched a staunch defence of his struggling side and believes his players still can turn things around. The Galacticos come up against a struggling Malaga side this weekend. They will be expected to snatch all 3 points when the two sides meet and much of the focus will again be on Real’s forwards, who have failed to fire in the league this season.
Real Madrid Predicted 4-4-2 Line-Up Vs Malaga
Kiko Casilla is expected to continue in goal in place of the injured Keylor Navas, only confirmed to have returned to training on Thursday. Sergio Ramos suffered a broken nose last weekend but is expected back in the team and is likely to partner Raphael Varane in the heart of the Real defence. Marcelo is the obvious choice for the left back with the returning Daniel Carvajal on the right.
The four-man midfield is likely to consist of Casemiro sitting deep with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric ahead of him and Isco at the head of the diamond.