Real Madrid is currently navigating a challenging phase, grappling with an injury crisis that has unsettled the squad. However, within this adversity, solutions are emerging. Brahim and Joselu, two peripheral figures in the team who’ve been vying for a spot in the starting lineup, are poised to assume greater responsibilities owing to the substantial absences plaguing the Santiago Bernabéu outfit.
Why there are chances of Brahim and Joselu in starting Lineup?
The setback in Rodrygo’s knee, although temporary, prompted concerns, But he managed to be included in the squad for the upcoming clash against Cádiz (Sunday 26th November, Kickoff 12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT). Conversely, Vinicius Jr’s prolonged absence due to a torn hamstring sidelines the number ‘7’ until at least February. During this hiatus, the partnership of Real Madrid’s newfound duo—Brahim and Joselu—must shoulder the load and rise to the occasion.
The encouraging aspect is the commendable performances witnessed when both Brahim and Joselu featured in the starting XI against Las Palmas, culminating in a 2-0 victory for Real Madrid with each contributing a goal. Joselu, already boasting 5 goals this season, stands level with Rodrygo and trails only Vinicius Jr (6 goals) and Bellingham (13 goals). Although Brahim’s tally of 2 goals might seem modest, when assessed per 90 minutes on the field, his impact becomes more pronounced. Jude Bellingham emerges as the standout with a goal every 96 minutes, but Brahim closely follows with a goal every 68 minutes, alongside Joselu’s impressive rate of 58 minutes per goal.
Joselu, bearing the number ’14’, emerges as the team’s primary striker this season, displaying a keen eye for goal and excelling in aerial duels, averaging the highest number of headers per game (1.5). On the other hand, Brahim has adeptly filled in for the ex-Birmingham midfielder, demonstrating versatility by featuring in central and left-wing positions, notably showcasing his proficiency in forward-oriented football that mirrors Vinicius’s 3.5 completed dribbles per 90 minutes, with Brahim closely trailing at 3.4 per game.
In the current context, Brahim might also seize the opportunity to gain experience on the right wing, a role initially assigned to him by Ancelotti during preseason, mirroring Rodrygo’s position. Deployed as a striker in the 4-3-1-2 formation, Brahim’s strategic runs and synergy with Bellingham were evident from the onset. Vinicius’s absence cements Rodrygo’s pivotal role, leaving Brahim and Joselu to contend for the final starting position against Cádiz.
There exists the possibility of Ancelotti reverting to the familiar 4-3-3 formation, where Brahim’s versatility could see him shift to the left, potentially displacing Bellingham. Although this formation leans heavily towards an attacking approach, it poses certain vulnerabilities, yet the forthcoming game against Cádiz presents an opportunity to witness Ancelotti’s tactical decisions in the absence of their primary forward.
In essence, Real Madrid’s tactical evolution amidst injury woes places Brahim and Joselu in pivotal roles. Their adaptability and contribution will shape the team’s dynamics in the absence of key players. As the Santiago Bernabéu outfit navigates this testing period, the clash against Cádiz stands as a canvas where Ancelotti’s strategic choices could redefine the team’s setup without their star forward.