by Dan Beale
Real Madrid’s terrible start to the season has probably left them too far behind in La Liga, but has their timely form given them a fighting chance to win the Champions League and Cope Del Rey?
Madrid are still 13 points behind Barcelona in the league, and with Barca seemingly through the other side of their blip now, it would seem that margin is too great to catch. However, if you look at the games that it usually comes down to with regards to deciding the title – namely el clasico – Real Madrid have fared very well this season. Madrid have taken four points from Barca in the league this season, with a win at home and a draw away in the Catalan. So realistically, you would expect Madrid to have the advantage over Barcelona as we approach the business end of the season.
Madrid’s league form was perturbing and patchy throughout the first 17 games and it is only the last ten games where any real consistency has been put together. Until the weekend just passed, Madrid had been no higher than third in the league and they have been playing catch since the first few fixtures taking just 4 points from a possible 12 in the opening games. When you have such a magnificent side, such as Barcelona, in your league you cannot drop 8 points in the first 4 games if you want to be in with a chance of the title come the end of the season. Yes, Barca have started the last few campaigns slowly, but Madrid simply cannot expect to drop that many points and still have a real shot at the title.
The away form of Mourinho’s men has let them down with silly defeats against the likes of Granada, teams they really should be beating comfortably. All five of Madrid’s defeats have come away from home as have half of the their draws. Such poor form away from the Bernabeu has also broken any momentum they were building on a run of wins, and consequently they have slipped a long way behind Barca.
However, with key personnel returning from injuries and a upswing in individual’s form Madrid are finally returning to type in the last ten league games. With 8 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat they have picked up 3 more points than Barca in this time period and really at this stage of the season it should be pushing them towards the title. But again, early form let them down.
So the league is potentially gone, but what about their chances in the cups? Well this timing of form is going to play right into the hands of Madrid with the final of the Copa Del Rey coming up and also the Champions League quarter finals. Madrid play Atleticó in the final of the domestic cup which will be a huge game for both. But looking at the form guide of the last 10 games Atletícó are just starting to show signs of a wobble losing 3 and drawing 2. If this slump continues, and Madrid continue their dominating resurgence the final could potentially be a comfortable triumph.
In terms of the Champions League, this is the big one for Madrid this season. For a club of such stature to go 11 years without winning this competition is quite staggering. Despite intimidating obstacles still to come their confidence is booming thanks to knocking Manchester United out. It is a pertinent point too that all other English sides have now exited the tournament.
It is just a shame that Madrid did not have this start of form at the start of the season, where they might have really pushed Barca all the way and made this La Liga season one to remember. Instead, the title looks like it is going to Barca, but the resurgence of form means that they are in a good position to win the Copa Del Rey and also really challenge for the Champion’s League.
Here’s to an El Clasico final.
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