Real Madrid – La Liga Used a 3-4-3 vs Getafe
Zinedine Zidane had been alternating between a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 this season, but the Frenchman opted for a 3-4-3 system, with Marvin Park and Marcelo as wing-backs, for Tuesday’s night’s 2-0 victory over Getafe.
The fact that the coach was missing so many players due to injury or suspension meant that he had to go to the tactics board and have a rethink, working out the best way to field a logical line-up from the limited options he had available.
The system worked as the back line of Nacho, Raphael Varane and Ferland Mendy covered for the absent Sergio Ramos well and limited Getafe to zero shots on target. It also gave Marcelo more freedom and the Brazilian played one of his best games in some time in the left-wing-back role.
Luka Modric and Casemiro did well in the middle too, so overall this tactical tweak was a success.
While Zidane was forced to change his tactics because of his lengthy absentees list, there are some who’ll wonder if this should become a system for certain matches in the future.
With Ramos set to miss several weeks after his knee surgery, Zidane will have noticed how comfortable Varane looked playing alongside two other centre-backs. In the past, Los Blancos have struggled when the captain is out, but that wasn’t the case on Tuesday night.
The new system also helped to get the best out of Marcelo and that could pique Zidane‘s interest too.
If the Frenchman were to use this system again over the next few weeks, after a few of his starters have returned, it would probably look more like a 3-5-2 and look like this: Thibaut Courtois; Nacho, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy; Dani Carvajal, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Marcelo; Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema.
Vinicius could be the one to drop out of the line-up, while Marco Asensio would have to adapt to a slightly different role.
Real Madrid have already enjoyed success with three centre-backs, as Vicente del Bosque used such a system on his way to winning the club’s eighth Champions League in 2000.
In that case, it was Aitor Karanka, Ivan Helguera and Ivan Campo as the centre-backs, with Michel Salgado and Roberto Carlos as the wing-backs.
We’ll soon find out if Zidane tries to save this season with a similar strategy.