Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

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Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:40 am

Having drawn with Legia after a poor defensive showing this will be the game to show some solidarity. Sporting don't concede many goals so it will be important to take our chances and also to get a cleansheet run going now that we managed 2 in a row

Team news:

With Ramos and Benz back in full training they are both expected to start against Sporting. Casemiro and Pepe haven't yet joined the group so won't be included in this game. Morata and Kroos are still in the recovery phase of the injury rehabilitation

Squad likely to be called in light of this:

GK: Navas, Casilla, Yanez
Defenders: Carvajal, Danilo, Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo and Coentrao
Midfielders: Isco, Kovacic, Modric, Asensio, and James
Forwards: Lucas, Ronaldo, Bale, Benz and Mariano

Carvajal has played nonstop since October and this isn't the game to rest him either. It was a poor decision of Lopetegui to play him against England. Hope he doesn't get injured we'll need him against Barca

Probable line up:

Navas
Carvajal-Varane-Ramos-Marcelo
Modric-Kovacic-Isco
Bale-Benz-Ronaldo

Now that we will be back to playing a 433 the midfield is really going to be tested. They are going to have to cover more ground than they have ever had to. Let's see what they are made of

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:52 am

Every time I see that front line my stomach turns. It's so frustrating to see us stubbornly sticking to a failed formula, especially when the solution is right in front of us.

I hate to keep repeating myself but we can't afford to play Benzema and Ronaldo at the same time. The sacrifices we make to play those two are simply not worth it and unfair to the other players:

1. Players out of position: When Isco played behind the CF against Atlético he was unstoppable. Literally. They had to foul him to stop him. He had 91% pass completion rate and seven steals. He exploded like we have never seen him before, and that's because for the first time in ages he was put in his preferred position.

It's so unfair to the kid that we keep playing him out of position, hindering his progress and blaming him for it.

Then you have Bale. The guy has been alright at RW, but boy is he deadly at LW. Aside from his attacking contributions, his defensive game helped Marcelo greatly and the team as a whole.

2. Quality players benched: Making Benzema untouchable has resulted in other players being benched, players who are good enough to play regularly for us. You have Kova, Isco, Vasquez and Nacho who only play when the starters are injured, which is criminal given their talent and what they bring to the table.

3. Work overload for certain players: We keep blaming our midfielders for not winning midfield battles but they're not really the ones who should be held accountable. The Atlético game showed who's at fault for that. When we play Ronaldo at left wing and Benzema up front, the left flank and front line become exposed because they both don't bother tracking back, pressing and helping out defensively. As a result, our midfielders are forced to cover more ground and work twice as hard to compensate for these two's laziness.

4. The Overall Balance: Again I'm going to refer to the Atlético game to get my point across. Vasquez and Bale played as proper wingers. In that I mean, not only did they contribute offensively, they also didn't neglect their defensive duties. That alone gave Marcelo and Carvajal a breather, and the overall balance was finally established because everybody was pulling their own weight and everybody was playing in their preferred positions. This simply doesn't happen when Benzema and Ronaldo play at the same time.

If the Atlético victory doesn't convince Z that he should dismantle BC for good, nothing will, and in that case, he's got only himself to blame.

You have the personnel to field one of the strongest teams in the world and smash elite teams in their own backyards. Either go for it, or stick to BBC and struggle even against the Legias.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:17 pm

I don't think it's the formation that's the problem. Like you I agree that Benz and Ronaldo together is a no no in terms of winning tough games not because they can't play together but because they are both as lazy as each other defensively. I mean Ronaldo could track back if he wanted to like we saw in the CL final and this past weekend but he just chooses not to. Benz has never shown those sort of defensive performances in a madrid shirt and comes across as very lackadaisical imo.

Again I'll repeat 433 isn't the problem and Isco has had MOTM as a support striker, LW and LCM. Let's not act like this was the first good game he has played this season. He has been great since he came back into the fold. Bale too has been great both on the right and on the left. Our problem has always been defensively because we tend to defend with only 7 players and don't pressure opposition players in their own half which then lets them get into our half unopposed.

Last season against Atleti away in the first half, this season vs LaReal, last season against Bilbao away and many more. We played 433 in all of those games. The only common denominator is the BBC did not play together in those games. Either Ronaldo or Benz was missing against them all

I have always wanted Lucas to start in the frontline because he does the job on both sides of the pitch but so does Bale so he's abit unlucky in that sense.
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by Doc on Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:08 pm

Only if the good Lord bless Lucas with prime Joaquin skills in his sleep, he would have been in the starting 11 quite normal. Being a talented Spaniard and all that.

Anyway, we need a victory. After those two shit draws against Dortmund and Legia, nothing but wins in the remaining games would ensure us top spot in the group. BBC was going to start as soon as they became available, that is just the reality of things. However, everyone including Perez saw and read how awesome our performance was when we played a more balanced team.

That balance did not include the BBC all playing together. So if for whatever reason we get another unfavourable result, those voices of dismantling this "BBC" formation would grow much louder.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:18 pm

Agreed if we lose then you can bet any money the press and fans will demand the BBC to be dismantled and Chad to be benched. I just want the win. This looks like the take the deflected goal and gtfo of there kind of games
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by futbol_bill on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:18 pm

Guess you didn't see that Chad was benched yesterday! and Nick got another 25% (now 75%). look up the thread on bans.
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:26 pm

Na I meant the other Chad. I can't mention his name or Chad Jnr will create another account just to reply to me Laughing

Anyways, Has anyone watched Sporting? I wonder what their tactics are going to be
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by futbol_bill on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:47 pm

I read a Marca article today that said Zidane was going to field same lineup (as against Atleti) this week, leaving Ramos and Benz for possible 2nd half entries.

I know it's only an opinion, but I do think the 11 that played last game deserve a repeat, plus having the returning so called starters eased back into forum is a right decision.
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by futbol_bill on Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:58 pm

The Demon of Carthage wrote:Every time I see that front line my stomach turns. It's so frustrating to see us stubbornly sticking to a failed formula, especially when the solution is right in front of us.

I hate to keep repeating myself but we can't afford to play Benzema and Ronaldo at the same time. The sacrifices we make to play those two are simply not worth it and unfair to the other players:

1. Players out of position: When Isco played behind the CF against Atlético he was unstoppable. Literally. They had to foul him to stop him. He had 91% pass completion rate and seven steals. He exploded like we have never seen him before, and that's because for the first time in ages he was put in his preferred position.

It's so unfair to the kid that we keep playing him out of position, hindering his progress and blaming him for it.

Then you have Bale. The guy has been alright at RW, but boy is he deadly at LW. Aside from his attacking contributions, his defensive game helped Marcelo greatly and the team as a whole.

2. Quality players benched: Making Benzema untouchable has resulted in other players being benched, players who are good enough to play regularly for us. You have Kova, Isco, Vasquez and Nacho who only play when the starters are injured, which is criminal given their talent and what they bring to the table.

3. Work overload for certain players: We keep blaming our midfielders for not winning midfield battles but they're not really the ones who should be held accountable. The Atlético game showed who's at fault for that. When we play Ronaldo at left wing and Benzema up front, the left flank and front line become exposed because they both don't bother tracking back, pressing and helping out defensively. As a result, our midfielders are forced to cover more ground and work twice as hard to compensate for these two's laziness.

4. The Overall Balance: Again I'm going to refer to the Atlético game to get my point across. Vasquez and Bale played as proper wingers. In that I mean, not only did they contribute offensively, they also didn't neglect their defensive duties. That alone gave Marcelo and Carvajal a breather, and the overall balance was finally established because everybody was pulling their own weight and everybody was playing in their preferred positions. This simply doesn't happen when Benzema and Ronaldo play at the same time.

If the Atlético victory doesn't convince Z that he should dismantle BC for good, nothing will, and in that case, he's got only himself to blame.

You have the personnel to field one of the strongest teams in the world and smash elite teams in their own backyards. Either go for it, or stick to BBC and struggle even against the Legias.


I agree completely with you DoC. However these guys are right that there will be pressure to return to BBC. My take on it is, as always with any big team, you want your best starting 11 in big games. It so happens our best 11, excludes Benz and Morata. Given that Zidane is using his entire squad and given the number of games esp. this season with the upcoming world club cup, there are amble games to give everyone lots of playing time. I figure if James can ride the bench, why can't Benz. I am willing to forgive Ronaldo's defensive liabilities providing he keeps playing like he did on Saturday, but it makes zero sense to have a second lazy player out there.

And looking at the midfield and even defense, there are several different alternatives (once everyone is healthy) to still have a well balanced team. I mention balanced as IMO that is the key to any success we may have and that is precisely why only one of Benz or Ronaldo should not start in any big game.
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:33 pm

Zidane: All my players are the best but BBC are better.

Well that's that....
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:52 pm

Some disturbing quotes from Z's pre-game press conference ahead of the Sporting game in Lisbon:

All my players are good but BBC are better
It's not that BBC are non-negotiable, it's that they are the best
All my players are the best, but BBC have a little more
Seriously? After the amazing performance our players had against Atlético, you come out and say this?! These don't sound to me like the words from a guy who's being forced to play BBC no matter what. He genuinely thinks they're the best.

Now, It's clear as day that Bale should always start because he's the only one out of the three who's playing with heart. Then there's a case to be made for Ronaldo as a CF. Just like Bill said, we can tolerate his defensive laziness if he moves to CF and keeps playing like he did against Atlético. But for the life of me I don't understand why he keeps squeezing Benzema into the picture and forcefully shoving him down our throats.

I was hoping the Atlético performance was going to force him re-think his stance about the BBC, but I was wrong.

And btw, that was some accomplished diplomacy sir, telling your own players that the BBC are the best. That must've fallen agreeably upon the ears of guys like Kova and Isco who keep killing themselves for nothing. Don't act surprised later when some of them ask to be sold.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by Adit on Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:27 pm

What a coward. Why does he have to declare it so openly to destroy other players morale?


Talks like puppet of BBC.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by Doc on Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:44 pm

One: I understand taking a man's word at face value but let's keep in mind that Zidane has to play politics with not only us fans and players but the media. Clearly there is talk about the BBC dismantling and the what exactly is the point of Benzema. Any astute manager or "person in charge" would try to quell such talk to not aggravate the situation too much.

Two: Speaking of aggravating, I wouldn't worry about the players' mindset. Isco is clearly tough enough to survive in Madrid. Also, he has the backing of the Spanish media. Kova would be starting for the forseeable future due to Kroos' injury so he is alright. Nacho is a defender so he has nothing to do with BBC. Vasquez knows he is a back up but my goodness, the man knows how to take his chances when called up. Zidane saying BBC is better, in my opinion, wouldn't really affect them all that much.

Three: I don't have a three. Just those 2.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by futbol_bill on Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:07 pm

I know it was more than Marca, but really!!

In one hour they publish a story of repeating the same 11 against Sporting (meaning Benz and Ramos won't be rushed back)

And then an hour later, they publish that Zidane is saying BBC is better!!!!!

I'd like to know who exactly is pushing for Benz to start? If James can be benched, why can't Benz? I can see the commercial value for Ronaldo, Bale, Modric, Kroos, Ramos, Marcelo, Pepe and even Navas. But for the life of me, I can't see it for Benz. Are there that many Chads out there? I suspect James or Isco have as much commercial value as Benz.
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by guest7 on Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:15 pm

Well... he is right. BBC is better.
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by Pedram on Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:16 pm

guest7 wrote:Well... he is right. BBC is better.


No they're not lol.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by FennecFox7 on Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:34 am

Better individually? Possibly. From a team standpoint? Absoultely not.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:13 am

Doc wrote:One: I understand taking a man's word at face value but let's keep in mind that Zidane has to play politics with not only us fans and players but the media. Clearly there is talk about the BBC dismantling and the what exactly is the point of Benzema. Any astute manager or "person in charge" would try to quell such talk to not aggravate the situation too much.
Except, he ended up aggravating the situation even more and causing more harm than good.

The guy clearly lacks in tact and diplomacy. He could've had a better response without upsetting his superiors and/or hurting his own players. Even better, he could've articulated his response in a way as to not undermine his players, all while cleverly hinting that somebody else is instructing him to start the BBC. I don't know, something along these lines:

"I'm lucky because all of my players are world-class and any manager would kill to have this roster. The BBC must play when they're fit, but that doesn't mean, not even in the slightest, that my other players are any less talented. They know that if they're here it's because they are the best in the world. They are our future and they'll continue to get enough playing time to continue their amazing progress and become legends of this club"

You see the 'must' that I highlighted in bold? That automatically insinuates that starting the BBC is not his idea. Instead, he gave us a response that clearly shows he genuinely thinks they're the best and that the rest of the players are slightly less talented.

I don't know about you Doc, but I hold people accountable for their own words. Z here showed me (whether he meant it or not) that he rates the BBC above everyone else, and as a result, he'll be held accountable every time he starts them and we don't get a good result.

Two: Speaking of aggravating, I wouldn't worry about the players' mindset. Isco is clearly tough enough to survive in Madrid. Also, he has the backing of the Spanish media. Kova would be starting for the forseeable future due to Kroos' injury so he is alright. Nacho is a defender so he has nothing to do with BBC. Vasquez knows he is a back up but my goodness, the man knows how to take his chances when called up. Zidane saying BBC is better, in my opinion, wouldn't really affect them all that much.

Three: I don't have a three. Just those 2.

Whether or not his insensitive remarks are going to affect them is not the question. It's the fact that he was dumb and inconsiderate enough to say them that's bothering me.

Maybe the players aren't going to be affected by his remarks. Maybe they will. But my point is, an astute manager would never take the risk of upsetting and demoralizing his players.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by Nivash on Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:57 am

I don't actually see a problem with BBC, just not in a 433. Let's not act like Benzema is useless, like any player, he has his pros and cons. Sure the statements could be better, but we also don't know what he says to the players directly.

If we use the same tactics that we used against Atleti, we could adapt it to the needs of each game. ie. for attacking games, the role can be used as a striker (replace Isco with Benz/Morata), for games where we can attack, but need more control, the role can be used for an AM (Isco/James/Asensio (in no particular order of preference), and in games we need to defend, the role can be used for a DM/defensive CM (Casemiro).

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:16 am

So after Marca sensationalised what ZZ said I read our official website and this is what he said according to our official website:

The three of them are the best players on account of what they've done. However, the most important thing for me is the group and what each of the players is able to offer the team. They'll get more game time than the rest of the squad, but the others will also get their share of minutes".

Tbh this sounds more like a ZZ quote than the "BBC are better" quote. He is very careful with what he says. Does not want the media to pounce on any criticism of the front 3 but also gives them abit of confidence that they will play more. Honestly this is the best he could have worded it
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:43 pm

Confirmed Lineup:

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:55 pm

I like this lineup a lot (although I wish Nacho was playing instead of Ramos), but if they fail to deliver tonight, they shouldn't feel surprised when Z reverts back to BBC.

I like you, but you have to earn it. Don't disappoint me.

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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:58 pm

Excellent line up. Hope they deliver
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by futbol_bill on Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:24 pm

Does anyone know why Ramos and Varane have switched positions?
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Re: Sporting CP vs Real Madrid

Post by halamadrid2 on Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:37 pm

Love the energy and combinations of our players. Still Ramos nearly gifted them a goal as usual lol and towards the end of the half Marcelo kept getting roasted. Bale has been marvelous. Lucas needs to up his game, haven't seen much of him

@bill, I would hazard a guess it is because Varane is more fit than Ramos so can provide better support for Marcelo. All Ramos has to do is make sure he doesn't fck up on the ball and playing good balls from behind. Carvajal will do the defending for him. We need the second goal, it went from a comfortable half to abit iffy towards the end. Bale needs someone to cross to. Lost count ok the amount of time he has gotten in behind but found nobody in the box so forced to play it back to Marcelo
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