The new Spanish football campaign is around the corner and Real Madrid have been busy preparing for it for longer than most after a dismal season that effectively ended in the spring. Read on for our Real Madrid season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 3rd
Last term was a disaster on just about every front. Real Madrid hired and fired two coaches before convincing Zinedine Zidane to return to the club and oversee the final few months of a campaign which saw Los Blancos again finish 3rd in La Liga, a distant 19 points behind champions Barcelona. Throw in a couple of humiliating cup exits and twelve league defeats (three more than Getafe and only one fewer than Eibar) and you have one of the club’s worst ever campaigns. Karim Benzema aside, very few of Madrid’s big names came to the party last term and that simply has to change this time around.
Real Madrid Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Eden Hazard – €100m from Chelsea
Luka Jovic – €60m from Eintracht Frankfurt
Éder Militão – €50m from Porto
Ferland Mendy – €48m from Lyon
Rodrygo – €45m from Santos
Mateo Kovacic – €45m to Chelsea
Marcos Llorente – €30m to Atletico Madrid
Raúl de Tomás – €20m to Benfica
Theo Hernández – €20m to Milan
Sergio Reguilón – Loaned to Sevilla
Luca Zidane – Loaned to Racing
(Transfers up to 14th July 2019)
Coach – Zinedine Zidane
Zizou surprised many when he opted to return to the club less than twelve months after walking out following a third straight Champions League triumph. He clearly has the magic touch when it comes to that competition but it’s domestic success that will be a top priority this term given Los Blancos haven’t challenged for the title since they last won it, under Zidane in 2016-17. The Frenchman utilised an enormous amount of squad rotation that season, regularly making wholesale changes for league fixtures with the ridiculous depth to the squad a major factor in their success. He may look to do likewise again this term with another large squad at his disposal.
Possible Real Madrid Team Next Season
It will be intriguing to see what team Zinedine Zidane picks on the opening weekend when Real face a tough trip to Celta Vigo. There are many issues to be resolved. At the back, Ferland Mendy and Eder Militão will be looking for starts with the former perhaps most likely to immediately break into the side after Marcelo’s struggles last term.
Real may switch from a 4-3-3 but assuming the formation is loosely the same as it has been in recent seasons, the midfield should have a familiar look to it unless they can finalise a deal for Paul Pogba over the coming weeks. Eden Hazard is a certain starter out wide with Karim Benzema also likely to retain his place. The identity of the other forward/wide player is a bit more of a mystery with the likes of Vinicius and Luka Jovic in the frame.
La Liga starts on Friday 16th August – We will have match previews and predictions for every game as the season gets going.
Key Man – Eden Hazard
— Eden Hazard (@hazardeden10) July 8, 2019
The Belgian international is Real’s first ‘Galactico’ signing in five years and he will be expected to hit the ground running and be the driving force in Real Madrid’s attacking play. Hazard arrives as he is peaking as a footballer and should offer considerably more than any of their wide options managed last term.
One to Watch – Luka Jovic
The likes of Sergio Reguilón and Martin Ødegaard have been loaned out and if anything Zidane looked to experience to turn around what was a sinking ship last season. However most of the new boys do bring plenty of youthful energy and while he may not immediately start, you sense Luka Jovic may have a key role to play. Real scored 27 fewer goals than Barcelona in La Liga last term, a gap that has to be closed if they are to stand any chance of winning La Liga. Zidane may look for Jovic to play the kind of role that Alvaro Morata did in 2016/17. His 15 goals as the so-called ‘B team’ striker were vital to Madrid’s title win and Jovic is arguably the best finisher they have at their disposal.
Real Madrid 2019-2020 Targets
The targets are basically the same every season at Real Madrid. They will be expected to try to win every competition they enter. That will be easier said than done though given they’ve picked up a staggering 36 fewer points than Barcelona over the past two seasons. At the very least, Real have to fight for the title this time around and improve on their last 16 exit in Europe.
Real Madrid season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter