Real Madrid finally had a disappointing game against Villarreal in the season after being on quite a roll in the opening few matches. Carlo Ancelotti’s role on the dice this time didn’t work in favor of Los Blancos as Fede Valverde struggled at right-back as he didn’t have a clue about what he had to do in that position. I think it’s time Don Carlo accepts this is not the setup he needs to play, especially against tough oppositions like Villarreal. Los Blancos were very lucky to have walked off with a point in that game where they were arguably the second-best in everything.
They’ll now face FC Sheriff Tiraspol, the first Moldovan side to play in the Champions League. In a home fixture, Los Blancos would be expected to win this game and further consolidate their position on the top of Group D. As such, it is important to note that the Moldovan side isn’t one to be taken lightly. They defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 in the first Matchday and Shakhtar obviously is the club that beat Real Madrid on both occasions last season.
Here are the keys to victory for a crucial (if not difficult) home game in mid-week.
Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
1. Real Madrid must revert to using high-tempo attacking football
Real Madrid looked a lethargic side last time out against the Yellow Submarine. They had one of the worst press schemes we’ve seen so far in LaLiga and that is the very first thing that needs to change in the game against Sheriff. We’ve already seen how deadly the Moldovans can be on the break and letting them have possession would be a dangerous thing to do.
Real Madrid must look to dominate play from the first whistle itself. They have looked like a side that changes games in the second half keeping the exception of the Mallorca game. But, that is exactly what they must do from the first whistle itself. Knock the ball around the park and play high tempo football forcing the opposition to chase the game and wear them out.
Real Madrid has the better set of players and would be expected to absolutely boss this game at the Santiago Bernabeu. So, high-tempo attacking football in my opinion would help them ease their way through the Moldovan defense and score some goals in an expectedly dominant victory on Matchday 2.