Zidane ponders new system for Madrid-Sevilla clash

With the 4-2-3-1 system used against PSG seemingly not an option, Zidane will likely choose between a system with three central defenders or a 4-4-2, with Hazard as second striker.

Zidane, ante el PSG.

Zinedine Zidane will no doubt be deep in thought about how to approach the complicated away trip to Sevilla this weekend.

Real Madrid must face the LaLiga leaders while in the thralls of a complicated situation, with many injuries in midfield and having shown signs of worrying defensive weaknesses.

The sequence of conceded goals has been the following: one against Celta, one against Valladolid, two against Villarreal, another two against Levante and, finally, three in Paris. That’s nine goals in five games, or 1.8 on average -- in other words, too many for a club aiming for big things this season.

Zidane's 4-2-3-1 system was spectacularly undone in Paris.

Zidane’s ponders two systems for Sevilla

On Sunday, Zidane’s side come up against the Sevilla of Julen Lopetegui, who has put together a solid team. Isco, Valverde and Modric are still unavailable for the clash at the Pizjuán, prompting the French coach to change from the 4-2-3-1 he used in Paris to either a system with three central defenders or a 4-4-2.

Zidane tested the system with three centre backs in the last two preseason games against Salzburg and Rome. And there were pros and cons to that formation, in which Hazard plays as a striker alongside Benzema, freeing up Belgian from defensive tasks. Meanwhile, Marcelo (who is doubtful for the Sevilla clash) shines more in attack. Actually in reality, the midfield ends up with five men: with two wing backs, Kroos and Casemiro and then question would be whether Zidane would use Bale or James.

The other option that Zidane will be pondering is the 4-4-2 that he already used in the 2-2 draw against Villarreal. In this formation, Casemiro and Kroos remain in the middle; Lucas Vázquez on the right; and, again, either Bale and James on the left. In this system, Hazard is also released from defensive tasks, again playing as the second striker alongside Benzema.

One way or another, the 4-2-3-1 formation in which the team were so spectacularly undone in Paris does not seem an option for Sunday in the Pizjuán.