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Liga Portuguesa

Zidane, 4-4-2 and Bale

Zinedine Zidane is using a 4-4-2 system during the 16/17 pre-season campaign. Despite only two games having been played the French coach has been limited to two having two main strikers available in Morata and Mariano with Jesé edging closer to the exit door and Benzema carrying a hip injury. The Madrid coach has also gone on record stating that he will remain faithful with the BBC next season as his main attacking option. Does this mean that he will forsake the use of 4-4-2 once he has Bale, Benzema and Cristiano back on action? I'm not entirely sure of this as we saw Bale proving during Euro 2016 that he can play anywhere on the pitch with him being particularly in taking players on.

Giving Bale optimum freedom on the field was Rafa Benítez's dream but it went wrong for two reasons. Firstly the Welsh player saw it as a privilege (which it was) and also took the easy option, playing behind the strikers but failing to carry out defensive duties. This role (playing behind the forwards) suits the player due to his ferocious left foot but he lacks the subtle intricate play of James and Isco.(Asensio. could be added to that list). Playing for Wales, Bale covers far more ground with his positional freedom and the Real Madrid Gareth Bale deserves the same freedom.

In all Wales games at the Euro's he covered every blade of grass on the pitch was constantly involved in the action. This roaming position offers him the possibility to showcase his range of talents which is limited when he is stuck on the wing. With Cristiano playing in a more out and out strikers role it's easy to imagine the Portuguese player up front with Benzema and Bale taking advantage of his spectacular physical condition. As  it appears that Pogba is not Bernabeu-bound, Zidane will stick with the BBC but maybe utilizing the pieces in a different way.