LaLiga 2018/2019: Three reasons why Real Madrid's goalless run would continue against Alaves
Real Madrid would return to domestic action this weekend, as they travel to the Estadio de Mendizorroza to face CD Alaves on Saturday.
Los Blancos would seek to bounce back from the disappointment suffered in midweek where they shockingly lost to CSKA Moscow at the Luzknicki stadium.
Julen Lopetegui would have his hands full, as he attempts to return Real to the summit of LaLiga, with the side finishing a massive 17 points behind champions Barcelona last season.
The 51-year-old was announced as the new Real Madrid coach and Zidane’s replacement in acrimonious circumstances in June just two days prior to the commencement of the World Cup, which cost his job as the then national team coach of Spain.
He has however found things difficult in the Spanish capital, losing his first competitive fixture in charge of the club against Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup, and the club is currently on a three-game winless streak which began with the scandalous 3-0 loss to Sevilla last week and continued up until the aforementioned CSKA game.
To make matters worse, Real have also not scored in either of those matches, with a goalless draw against Atletico coming in between both losses, a goalless run stretching three matches and marking Real Madrid’s longest barren run in front of goal since 2007.
They would head into the match seeking to reverse this worrying trend, as the club is primarily known for being an attacking juggernaut. However, they might struggle to break their duck this weekend. Here are three reasons why Real Madrid might not score against Alaves.
#3 They have Karim Benzema as their main centre-forward
Once upon a time, Karim Benzema was one of the most lethal strikers in all of Europe, an undoubted world-class centre-forward who was among the best in the business, and Real Madrid reaped huge dividends, as the Frenchman banged in the goals to help the club win titles.
However, in recent years, that is no longer the case, as the 31-year-old has struggled to maintain his previous high standards and is no longer considered an elite striker.
He has come in for constant criticism for his efficacy in front of goal, with his ridiculously low goals return (his total of 11 in all competitions last season was the nadir) making a folly of his status as the starting striker for a club of Real Madrid’s stature.
Benzema has arguably the best midfield in club football behind him, as Modric, Kroos and Isco are among the most creative players in the world, so to post such low figures as a striker despite their services is almost criminal. Moreover, Karim mostly found himself in good spaces in front of goal despite his wing drifts, and Real Madrid’s fans exasperation was that the former Lyon man most times contrived to miss goals that were easier to score.
While Cristiano Ronaldo was at the club, it was easy to excuse Benzema and portray him as the unselfish sacrificial lamb who gave up his personal accolades for his teammate to score the goals and hug the limelight. However, that would be patronizing Benzema and making a mockery of the excellent service he receives.
Moreover, the Portuguese has long departed the club, and while many expected Benzema to finally prove his worth, there were still those who believed the club should rid itself off his services and get another striker. As it is, Benzema is proving the latter set right.
After beginning the season like a house on fire, scoring five goals in his opening four matches, he has fallen back to his old ways and has now gone six full matches without scoring a goal.
Goals win games, while defences win titles, and with Real Madrid not exactly the model team when it comes to shutting out opponents, a higher priority is placed on their frontline to outscore their opponents (as it has been in recent years). However, with Benzema leading the line, it seems like the struggle for goals is likely to continue.