REAL MADRID

Madrid look to Zidane to snap post-Champions League drop off

Madrid have taken just 10 of 18 possible points in league games following Champions League ties this season, drawing at Atleti and losing to Sevilla and Villarreal.

Madrid look to Zidane to snap post-Champions League drop off

Real Madrid have dropped 8 points in LaLiga matches following Champions League ties this season, taking just 10 from a possible 18. It’s a dynamic that Zinedine Zidane is hoping to change.

Early warning signs first appeared following the first match of the Champions League group stage, a 4-0 win over Shakhtar. Granada made things difficult for Benitez’s side who came out narrow 1-0 winners at the Bernabéu thanks mostly to Keylor who kept his side in the game with a series of incredible saves.

The first dropped points came in October in the Madrid derby against Atleti, a 1-1 draw at the Calderón following a 2-0 win over Malmo. Then came a 3-2 loss to Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan in November after the nervy win 1-0 win over PSG and a 1-0 defeat at El Madrigal at the hands of Villarreal in December following the 8-0 demolition in the return against Malmo.

Granted, dropping points away from home to Atleti, Sevilla and Villarreal – all Champions League hopefuls – after just a few days rest isn’t especially surprising. League-leaders Barcelona have also dropped points coming off mid-week games in Europe, taking 13 of 18 points in the league.

Nevertheless, many within the club believe that a real problem exists and will look to Zidane to reverse the dynamic. A strong performance and taking the three points against Malaga this afternoon will be a big step forward.