Real Madrid: Casemiro and Valverde form the ideal midfield partnership
In the seven games the two midfielders have started together, Madrid have won six and drawn one, scoring 22 goals and conceding just two.
The Real Madrid midfield has endured a difficult period over the last year or so and has visibly been in need of an overhaul. With that in mind, Zidane appears to have struck gold with Casemiro and Valverde, and not since the 2006-07 season, when they won the league with Fabio Capello, have Madrid looked so physically imposing in midfield.
Real Madrid's midfield combinations
In a short space of time, Casemiro and Valverde have become the new Emerson and Diarra, who took over from the position-defining Makelele. Since the turn of the century names like Pablo García, Lass, Khedira and, above all, Xabi Alonso, have laid the foundations for Madrid's recent Europan successes - four Champions League trophies in five years - with the most recent crop made up of Casemiro, Kroos and Modric.
In search of a new-look midfield
Given the waning powers of the last three mentioned above, particularly Modric, Zidane has had to search for new synergies, opting for Casemiro and Valverde. In the seven games the Brazilian and Uruguayan have started together, Madrid have won six and drawn one, scoring 22 goals and conceding just two.
Both players have given Zidane's side balance in defence and attack and together they have gone from strength to strength in ball recovery (75 against Galatasaray, 69 against Eibar) and possession (69% ante el Galatasaray, 63% frente al Granada). A partnership that bodes well for the rest of Los Blancos' season and beyond.
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