REAL MADRID

Real Madrid's reasons for optimism

Zidane's men overcame a tricky away test against Celta Vigo in Balaídos over the weekend with the dream of a LaLiga and Champions League triumph very much alive.

Madrid
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Los jugadores del Real Madrid, en Balaídos.
REUTERS

Real Madrid overcame a tricky away test over the weekend with a 1-3 win at Balaídos and as LaLiga now takes second stage with the international break on the menu, Zidane's side are still very much alive in the league title race and are set to face Liverpool in the quarter final of the UEFA Champions League.

The Vigo victory offers optimism for Madridistas with once again, French forward Karim Benzema showing just how invaluable he has become with the striker bagging a brace against Celta. The once overcrowded injury room is slowly starting to empty and whilst Zidane's men are not regarded as odds on favourites for either competition, there are still plenty of reasons for fans to believe that glory could be on the cards come May.

Benzema, en el Celta-Real Madrid.

An in-form team

Zidane's side are now unbeaten in their past ten outings with eight wins and two draws in these games. The last defeat was the loss at home to Levante on 30 January and that game was very much conditioned by the early sending off of Militao after ten minutes.

UCL test and favourable fixture list

When teams return from the international break, Real Madrid will have at least 12 competitive games ahead in the 2020/21 season. First up at the Di Stéfano will be a visit by relegation threatened SD Eibar on Saturday 3 April. Three days later, Madrid welcome Liverpool in the Champions League before facing FC Barcelona on April 10 at Valdebebas in a behind closed doors El Clásico. Zidane's men then face current Premier League champions on 14 April in three high profile fixtures.

Sin tituloReal Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane gestures during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Real Madrid CF and Atalanta at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas, on the outskirts of Madrid on March 15, 2021. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)

Should 'Los Blancos' negotiate trio of games, the LaLiga run-in is reasonably benevolent with one or two possible hiccups on the way as they face: Cádiz, Betis, Getafe, Osasuna, Sevilla, Granada, Athletic and Villarreal. The trip to San Mamés being the trickiest of the final fixtures. Match-day 35 also sees Barcelona-Atlético going head-to-head at Camp Nou.

Benzema's hot streak

Since the turn of the year, the French striker has carried the scoring responsibility of Los Blancos on his back and he is now on a run of six games finding the back of the net at least once. That has taken him to a rate of a goal every 97 minutes of play. And those statistics put him at the same table as two of the headline-grabbing strikers of the moment: the evergreen Robert Lewandowski and young Norwegian star Erling Haaland.