Having lost the all-important El Clasico, Real Madrid must ensure that they do not slip up in the title race as they visit Sevilla in a mid-table fixture on Wednesday. The Los Blancos suffered a major blow as they lost 4-3 at home to give away their 4 point lead over Barcelona. They are now tied with Atletico Madrid at the top of the league with Barcelona trailing by 1 point. With just 9 points left in the league, Real Madrid have to make ensure that they are in top gear throughout and do not suffer a body-blow in this evenly matched title race.
The Whites visit Sevilla in a very important away fixture on Wednesday and will have to make sure that they come back home with 3 points. Carlo Ancelotti has already made it clear to his players that they will have to treat every match like a cup final and cannot afford to be complacent.
With the title to play for, here are three things Real Madrid will have to do to make sure that they win against Sevilla as they walk in to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
1.Forget the Clasico and Get On With It
It is very important that Real Madrid brush aside the ill feelings of the El Clasico and concentrate on Sevilla. Sevilla is currently on the 5th place in the La Liga and are not an easy opposition to face in their home ground. Real Madrid have to ensure that they are on their top form if they hope to win against their formidable opponents. Which means that Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates will have to forget their complaints against the referee and ensure that they are ready for another tought fixture. To sit back and moan a loss will not bring the Los Blancos 3 crucial points. They have to pick themselves up and continue their fight. With the finish line almost in sight, Ancelotti will have to keep his players motivated as well as fresh to make sure they don’t lose sight of the target.
2.Get The Midfield Organized
Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti have been able to develop a very entertaining style of football, one that involves players retaining possession and developing the game in a systematic manner. This was the Real Madrid that crushed Atletico Madrid over two legs of the Copa del Rey, one that was inspired by Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso in the middle. If Real are to win their match against Sevilla they will have to make sure that these two midfielders are back to doing what they do best-control the ball. Real won the earlier fixture 7-3 but had a few nervous moments during the game. They started brightly and Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema were on fire at Bernabeu but somehow Real managed to let Sevilla back into the game after the visitors scored two goals in quick succession. It was only after Benzema scored an early goal in the second half that Madrid bought itself some breathing space and Ancelotti will have to ensure that his players do not slip up again and give the advantage to the home team.
Both Modric and Alonso did not have a great game against Barcelona and failed to take control of the midfield. This showed in the end result as Madrid struggled to develop their game from the middle and had to resort to Di Maria’s brilliance for scoring goals. The duo will have to get back to their best as Di Maria is unavailable for selection along with Ramos due to their suspensions. Which means that Isco or Illarramendi, maybe both, may be used by Ancelotti during tomorrow’s game. Isco has been offered quite a few lifelines in the past few weeks and might be given another opportunity tomorrow and the youngster will do well to not disappoint the Italian manager.
3.Bale and Ronaldo Must Fire On All Cylinders
If there is one name that gives hope to Real Madrid then it is Cristiano Ronaldo. Having played the saviour on numerous occasions, the Portuguese had a howler against Barcelona last weekend. Apart from earning a dubious penalty and converting it successfully, he failed to make any impact in the game and drifted in and out of the match. The same can be said for Gareth Bale who was brought last summer amidst much fanfare but spent his second El Clasico chasing the ball quite unsuccessfully. He did have a few good moments and made a couple of good runs but he did not quite create as many chances as most Madridstas would have liked.
Without Di Maria in the team, Ronaldo and Bale are the engine that have to score and create goals for Real against Sevilla. The last time the Whites faced Sevilla, Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo destroyed the opposition after putting seven past a hapless goal-keeper. The the trio should look to match that performance or maybe even better it if they want to get over the loss against Barcelona.
Though Real Madrid are still licking their wounds, the only way they can extract revenge is by beating Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to the title. The race is on and all cards are out on the table. Will Real Madrid beat Sevilla and pile pressure on their rivals? We shall find out.