Despite winning the Spanish championship last season and clinching two Champions League titles back-to-back (2016 and 2017), Real Madrid are going through tumultuous times in La Liga. Their shocking fourth loss this season was suffered at the hands of Villarreal at the Bernabeu – in front of the home support – while their arch rivals Barcelona are still flying high and they keep on strengthening their squad with quality signings.
Is Real Madrid’s winning cycle over?
Bernabeu boss Zinedine Zidane has made history after managing to defend their European title against Juventus in Cardiff last season – this becoming the only side that has achieved that in the modern format of Europe’s elite competition – but be could soon be without a job if things don’t start improving on the pitch, according to online sportsbook news sites.
The hierarchy at Real Madrid is notorious for axing managers as often as their galatico players change their socks – a thought that is probably putting a great deal of pressure on Zidane as he endures the greatest difficulty of his young managerial career.
Real Madrid’s left back Marcelo expressed his frustrations after the humiliating 0:1 loss to Villarreal on their home ground.“It is one of the worst situations I’ve experienced here,” lamented the Brazilian full-back.“We’re trying to play good football, to move the ball around and score goals but it’s not coming off. It is how it looks from the outside – we are sad, angry and we feel like we are sinking.”
Over the last five matches, Los Blancos have lost on 2 occasions (to Villarreal and Barcelona both at home), while the other games handed with 2 draws and only 1 victory. After 18 rounds in La Liga until this point, Real Madrid are 4th on the table with only 32 points; their overall record reads merely 9 wins, 5 draws and surprisingly 4 losses. It’s safe to say they won’t be able to recoup enough points in the remainder of the campaign to defend their league title.
Barcelona are pushing hard after a disappointing 2016/17 campaign
Although last summer has seen the surprise departure of star-forward Neymar and manager Luis Enrique’s exit from the club, the Catalan powerhouse are performing remarkably without them this season. Barcelona are firing on all fronts, having bagged an incredible 48 goals in 18 games, while letting in only 7. And they’re still undefeated until this point in the season, with their record reading 15 victories and only 3 ties, so it’s no obvious that online sportsbooks in Spain rank them as favourites to conquer the Spanish title, as Real Madrid are sinking.
Yerry Mina has an imposing height of 195cm (sozrce: FC Barcelona)
In addition to adding Philippe Coutinho to their squad, the Nou Camp side have also just announced the singing of Colombian defender Yerry Mina from Brazilian side Palmeiras, on a five-and-a-half year contract for around €12m. But unlike Coutinho – who won’t be able to play in the Champions League this season after playing in the competition with former club Liverpool – Mina is allowed to feature in European games, as he hasn’t played for any other club on the continent this campaign.
Although Mina is one of Barcelona’s cheapest singings in recent times – compared to other star players’ transfer fees – he’s the tallest member of the squad, measuring a whopping 195cm in height. His imposing stature should help the Catalans maintain their undefeated record in La Liga this season, while also bolstering their efforts in the Champions League – a competition that they’ve last won in 2015, having missed out in 2016 and 2017 both to Real Madrid.