BETIS-REAL MADRID

Real Madrid coach Zidane can live without Sergio Ramos

The Frenchman is yet to lose a game when the captain is missing from the side, with six wins from eight.

Real Madrid coach Zidane can live without Sergio Ramos
JAVIER GANDUL

Sergio Ramos is set to miss between four to six weeks after picking up a knee injury during Spain's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Albania last weekend. While the loss of their captain will hurt Real Madrid, who have a growing number of key players such as Casemiro and Luka Modric in the treatment room, Zinedine Zidane has reason to be optimistic ahead of this evening's LaLiga match with Betis

Real Madrid yet to lose under Zidane without Sergio Ramos

Zidane is yet to taste defeat without Sergio Ramos in the team. The Real Madrid captain has missed eight games while the Frenchman has been in charge – either through injury or technical decision – but the side is unbeaten in his absence. Six ended in wins (Sporting, Levante, Sevilla, Eibar, Getafe and Rayo), two in draws (Betis and Eibar).

Zidane has preferred a Pepe-Varane partnership in the heart of defence when Ramos is unavailable, opting to pair the Portuguese and the Frenchman in six of the eight matches. Nacho has deputized twice, once for each.

Ramos injured his knee with just 10 minutes remaining in Spain's win over Albania

Madrid unbeaten since 2015 without Ramos

While the team is yet to lose without Ramos, the Andalusian has, coincidentally or not, featured in both of Zidane’s defeats: against Atlético at the Bernabéu (0-1) and away at Wolfsburg (2-0) in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.

The team’s winning streak in Ramos’ absence actually extends back into Rafa Benítez’s time in charge. To find the last time Real Madrid lost without Ramos you’d have to go back to March 2015 and the return leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against Schalke. Ancelotti’s side lost 3-4 at the Bernabéu on the night, but sneaked through 5-4 on aggregate.

A tighter defence with Ramos

What is true, however, is that Zidane’s side concede more goals when Ramos isn’t on the field, with an average of 0.82 goals against (24 in 29) with him and 0.87 (7 in 8) without him.

Ramos has missed 124 games since he arrived as a 19 year-old from Sevilla back in 2005. Real Madrid have won 93 of those, drawn 18 and lost 13.