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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti still has doubts ahead of LaLiga debut

The Italian oversaw questionable pre-season results and as such doubts remain over Madrid’s LaLiga game against Athletic.

Update:
The Italian oversaw questionable preseason results and as such doubts remain over Madrid’s LaLiga game against Athletic.
ETIENNE LAURENTEFE

Real Madrid leave behind their pre-season campaign with two wins (Milan & Manchester United), two defeats (Barcelona and Juventus) and the feeling that the team’s performances dropped in attack with the new system. There is also the more urgent requirement that the team still has plenty of defensive frailties that need sorting as soon as possible.

The back-line, in the player analysis of the squad for the US trip, comes out looking poor, with Bellingham, Vini Jr, Tchouaméni and Camavinga the top performers. It also remains to be seen how Güler performs given his absence in the first part of the preparations.

Here is a player-by-player analysis of how the team performed in pre-season:

Goalkeepers:

Courtois: It was not a good pre-season for the Belgian, who only played against Barcelona and Juventus and conceded 6 goals from 13 shots faced. But there is nothing to fear: he will play as the first choice goalkeeper under Ancelotti, whatever happens.

Lunin: He played in the first two games against Milan (where he made a mistake for the 0-1 goal and saved the 3-3 equaliser) and Manchester United (where the game was more serious in general). The club would like him to leave, but he is committed to completing his contract, which runs out in 2024.

Defenders

Carvajal: It was a mixed pre-season for the Club’s vice-captain, as he looked good on the ball with 111 completed passes from 116 and 13 recoveries, but he was somewhat timid in attack, with just three crosses and the new system causing some confusion.

Lucas Vázquez: The Galician’s performances in the United States were strange: he was not good in defence, especially against the two Italian teams, but he put in 16 crosses, one of which ended with a Joselu overhead kick going in the back of the net.

Odriozola: A showing for the Spaniard who is not wanted and who should leave if he wants minutes, even if he doesn’t play a lot. Ancelotti gave him 12 minutes in the last game of the tour, against Juventus. The club expect offers for him before August 31.

Militão: He started off poorly against Milan, but he drastically improved in the games afterwards and got up to 11 recoveries. He is an undisputed starter for Ancelotti, although there are still doubts about how he ended last season.

Alaba: The second half against Milan was his best performance, in the others he was solid without being brilliant. In total he reached 11 ball recoveries, the same as Militão, although his best quality is his ability to bring the ball out from the back line.

Rüdiger: The German was very good against Milan and Manchester United, when he got an amazing assist for Bellingham to score his first Madrid goal. He didn’t play against Barcelona, as he will play sometimes as a substitute throughout the season.

Nacho: The Club captain suffered against Milan with a huge error for the first goal and against Juventus, but he was amazing against Manchester United (he did not play against Barcelona). He is fourth-choice at centre-back, but his versatility means that he will see minutes during the season.

Mendy: It was a bad experience for Mendy, who has once again shown that he is not who he used to be in defence. He still fails to drive on in attack and his injury problems scupper his chances to get a playing run together.

Fran García: Without pulling any trees up, Fran’s situation is a lot clearer now that pre-season is over. Mendy’s poor level and recurring injuries more than anything have shown that he can play a role this season.

Vinicius se interna en el área vigilado por Garnacho en una jugada del amistoso del Soccer Champions Tour que Real Madrid y Manchester United jugaron en Houston.
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Vinicius was Madrid's best player in pre-season.TIM WARNERAFP

Midfielders

Tchouaméni: One of the best performers in the whole tour, the Frenchman has returned to his previous level in defence (16 recoveries) and he also played a part in attack with 6 shots and one on target. With the ball, he showed his class with 126 accurate passes from 138.

Kroos: The German, as usual, has started off slowly and will take his time to get up to speed. His assist for Vinicius against Juventus was a high point that showed he still possess the same class as always.

Modric: One of the main players in the comeback against Milan and the good game against Manchester United. He looked less influential against Barça and Juventus, but Modric is Modric.

Valverde: Clearly went from hero to zero. The comeback against Milan was thanks to a brace from the Uruguayan, but he didn’t have another shot on target after that game. With the ball, he was just fine: 99 accurate passes from 114.

Ceballos: The midfielder didn’t even get on the plane to the USA due to an injury that will see him miss the first game of the season.

Güler: The Turkish delight has shone in training for his new club, but he needs physicality to be able to compete at the elite level. He was not able to make his debut and returned early to Spain as a result of an injury. His short term future is unknown, it depends entirely on his recovery.

Nico Paz: It was the first true experience for Nico Paz with the big boys and first team coaches, who were happy with his performance as a whole. Ancelotti did not give him many minutes, and he needs continuity and time.

Attackers

Vinicius Jr: The best attacker in pre-season, he scored two amazing goals and against Barça he hit the post 3 times. He had 15 completed dribbles from 31.

Rodrygo: Omnipresent in the comeback against Milan in the second half and was missed against Barcelona, when he was not comfortable. He only had 3 shots on goal and didn’t score. The team needs more from him.

Brahim: He looked decent against Milan in the first half but he wilted after that and so did Ancelotti’s interest in the player as an option. He only had one shot on target and 3 successful dribbles from 6.

Joselu: His overhead kick against Manchester United is the highlight of the tour. Against Milan he was poor and against Barça and Juventus he had chances that weren’t taken. He clearly offers something different and it seems Ancelotti will use him a lot.