After a convincing 4-1 victory over Granada, Real Madrid turn their sights to the UEFA Champions League as they take on Sheriff Tiraspol on Wednesday night, a team that shocked the football world earlier this season when they were able to come out victorious at the Santiago Bernabeu with a 2-1 win. It has become apparent who Carlo Ancelotti prefers in each position, but it has also become increasingly clear that he will need to rest players whenever given the chance, even if that player is in-form Vinicius Junior.
It’s true that Los Blancos failed to get anything out of the match against Sheriff earlier this season but that’s not because the opponents are better than them, it’s simply the luck of the game as Real Madrid couldn’t score despite having 30 attempts as opposed to the four by the opponents. In the end though, the only statistic that matters is the final score. However, Real Madrid are more than capable of getting revenge while resting some players ahead of a very difficult run of games.
Vinicius Junior has been sensational this season and even when he seemed to be having an off-game against Granada, the Brazilian came back in the second half to show some of his best runs and skills while getting his name on the scoresheet in the process. He’s still young and although his body can take the stress being put on it, there is only so much he can take. Rest is going to be required for him and this is pretty much one of the rare occasions where taking this risk is necessary.
Eden Hazard, who has had countless problems, added to that against Granada after missing the game due to gastroenteritis. He should be back in time for the Champions League clash and this is a great time for Carlo Ancelotti to give him some minutes and see what he can do on the night. Hazard, just like any other player in the squad, will be needed if Real Madrid are to win anything this season.
Eden Hazard needs to play in order to rediscover the best version of himself
Rotations will be key, and getting some time on the pitch from the start will do wonders for the Belgian. There aren’t many matches coming up where resting Vinicius and starting Hazard will be a good plan of action.
Vinicius has been playing in every game so far during the campaign and just recently returned from the international break with Brazil. Eder Militao was rested against Granada for that reason and it’s time to do the same with Vini, even if he may not like it. Ancelotti knows how important it will be to keep Vinicius fit for the season by sacrificing him in a game here and there.
The only way we could possibly see the best version of Hazard is by playing him when he’s fit and ready. He hasn’t earned the right to play in the bigger matches but games against Sheriff are the types of matches where giving him the chance to shine will help his progression while also showing you what he is capable of at this time for future matches.
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All our players deserve to play and Eden Hazard should be picked because all our players also deserve to rest. It’s time for Vinicius to get a game off and be fresh for a very difficult match during the weekend against Sevilla, starting him against Sheriff could end up doing more harm than good.