Real Madrid’s Season on the Line: Crucial Matches Ahead and the Left-Back Dilemma


Real Madrid is facing a crucial period in their season, with three important matches in their next four fixtures that could define their campaign. Before the international break, they will need to avoid disaster against Liverpool in the Champions League, followed by a league game against Barcelona. They will then play a home fixture against Elche before another El Clasico match in the Copa del Rey.

One of the key questions for manager Carlo Ancelotti is the left-back position. Ferland Mendy, who has just returned from injury, has been the regular starter for Real Madrid this season, but has come under criticism from fans and pundits alike. His injuries have also given Nacho Fernandez and Eduardo Camavinga the chance to stake their claim for the position.

According to the Spanish newspaper Marca, Mendy still has the defensive numbers in his favour. He has won 75% of his battles against dribblers and only lost 0.27 duels per game. Camavinga’s numbers drop to 42% and 1.49 duels lost, while Nacho tackles 44% of dribblers and loses 0.81 duels per game.

When it comes to aerial duels, Camavinga’s numbers outstrip those of Mendy. He wins 1.41 aerial duels per game, with a 65% success rate compared to Mendy’s 0.51 and 54% success rate. Nacho wins 1.75 duels per game, but like Mendy, his success rate is just 54%. In terms of interceptions, Nacho records 1.62 per game, compared to Camavinga’s 0.95 and Mendy’s 1.10.

The heat maps for Camavinga and Mendy also differ greatly. Camavinga tends to play higher up the field and more inside, pressing aggressively and playing more like a midfielder. Mendy’s heat map is much wider but deeper, indicating that he tends to be more conservative. Nacho, as a natural central defender, is closer in profile to Mendy, but provides less width going forward.

As Camavinga demonstrated in a recent game, he still has some flaws in his defensive positioning. However, his physique allows him and Real Madrid to play higher up the pitch. Mendy is probably the most defensive option, but is generally the most reliable when it comes to shutting down a specific attacker. Nacho may not be a significant asset when it comes to attacking, but he does organize the defense and provide leadership to the team.

In conclusion, Real Madrid faces a critical period in their season, with three important matches that could make

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