REAL MADRID

Operation trident: Zidane still searching for perfect pairing with Benzema

Zidane has tried everything from Vinicius-Jovic-Lucas to Isco-Benzema-Hazard, using a total of nine trident combinations this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus consigned the famous ‘BBC’ (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano) trident to the history books. And none of the three managers that have been at the helm since the Portuguese star’s departure, Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and Zinedine Zidane, have yet to find a consistent attacking partnership.

Zidane has tried everything, from Vinicius-Jovic-Lucas to Isco-Benzema-Hazard, but he has not maintained regularity due to either injuries or coaching decisions. The French coach has used as many as nine trident combinations this season.

The only regularity has been Karim Benzema at number nine. And so far the Frenchman has thrived with whatever attacking partners Zidane has decided to line out alongside him, scoring 14 goals in 17 games.

The famous BBC trident was consigned to the Real Madrid history books with Ronaldo's departure last summer.

Benzema-Hazard-Rodrygo: Zidane’s most used trident

The only player who has featured with some regularity in the offensive system with Benzema has been Eden Hazard. Now, with the Belgian injured for the trip Alavés, the pair will not line out together for the first time in seven games.

Together with Rodrygo, they have formed the trident most used by Zidane throughout the season with six starts. In terms of results, the BRH trio have achieved four victories.

Isco, Bale, Jovic, Vinicius and Rodrygo are the five other candidates who have been chosen this season to partner with Karim Benzema.

The range of options be used by Zidane will remain wide, with the reintroduction of Isco as a starter, Jovic set for more minutes in the coming weeks, Vinicius set for another opportunity to establish himself, Bale back in the fold after his injury lay-off and the ongoing consecration of Rodrygo.