Real Madrid v Malmo, El Bernabeu, Tuesday 8th December 2015
REAL MADRID: Kiko Casilla, Danilo, Pepe, Nacho, Arbeloa, Casemiro, Kovačić, Isco, James, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Real Madrid are of course one of the most successful club sides in history but they are also the only team in the world which is only ever 45 minutes away from a full-blown crisis.
The La Liga humbling against Barcelona was shocking and they need to demonstrate at this point that they can have a successful season in Europe.
Because if Rafa Benitez doesn’t bring home a major piece of silverware for Real Madrid this season you can bet your house on him being sacked come May – perhaps even before, with Zinedine Zidane perhaps being given the reins after managing the B side a la Guardiola at Barca.
Benitez is a solid manager but his style doesn’t necessarily tally with the desires of the fans and even the players.
Real Madrid have the potential to win this competition and should find themselves in the latter rounds of the contest again this year.
But we can’t hide the instinctive feeling that things might get worse at Real Madrid before they get better.
Sacking Carlo Ancelotti already looks like decision that is coming back to haunt Madrid – he was a perfect fit for Los Blancos.