BARCELONA // All eyes will be on new Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and on how he delivers his brand of attacking football spearheaded by the “BBC” in his first match in charge against Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga on Saturday.
So far the quietly-spoken Frenchman has given little indication of the way he plans to breathe new life into a side that boasts plenty of talent but failed to perform in big games under former coach Rafa Benitez.
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"The idea is to play with the three of them," Zidane told reporters as he explained the roles of top forwards Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, known in Spain as the "BBC".
“It is important to see attractive football and that is the line I will look to go down. Attacking and balanced.”
Benitez was never able to win over the dressing room with his studious approach following the departure of the more easy-going Italian Carlo Ancelotti last summer.
Fans and the media also criticised the Spaniard for being too defensive and Zidane will now need his three leading performers to show more willingness to track back.
Madrid’s attacking trident are as prolific with league goals as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez at Barcelona but it is in other facets to their play that the difference shows.
Both trios have hit 35 La Liga goals this season but the perception is that Madrid’s players have been less willing to defend.
France great Zidane’s illustrious career as a player demands the respect of the squad even though this is his first stint as a top-flight coach.
Third-placed Real are four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who are away to Celta Vigo on Sunday, and two adrift of Barcelona who host Granada on Saturday.
It was the first time since February that a side comprising Messi, Neymar and Suarez failed to score as Barca drew 0-0 with Espanyol last weekend but they quickly got back on track with a 4-1 win over the same opponents on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey.
A magical Messi display saw him score twice and set up goals for Gerard Pique and Neymar as Barca strolled to victory in the last-16 first-leg clash.
Fixtures (all kick offs UAE time)
Barcelona V Granada, 7pm
Getafe V Real Betis, 9.15pm
Sevilla V Athletic Bilbao, 9.15pm
Real Madrid V Deportivo de La Coruna, 11.30pm
Levante V Rayo Vallecano, 1.05am (Sunday)
Villarreal V Sporting Gijon, 3pm
Real Sociedad V Valencia, 7pm
Eibar V Espanyol, 9.15pm
Las Palmas V Malaga, 9.15pm
Celta Vigo V Atletico Madrid, 11.30pm
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