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Real Madrid bench crisis: A lot of players in front but barely any options

Last Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of FC Barcelona highlighted Real Madrid’s crisis on the bench. Karim Benzema’s absence due to injury led to some questionable tactical decisions by manager Carlo Ancelotti, who was acting as if he had no options despite having a full bench.

Instead of calling up a direct replacement for Benzema, Ancelotti decided to use Luka Modric as a false nine, throwing off the balance of the entire squad. The question is, why didn’t he opt to start the likes of Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz?

Gareth Bale appears to be fully fit, but it has become clear that his priority is not Real Madrid. The manager did give him a few chances at the start of the season, but the relationship appears to have soured since. Ancelotti has clearly left the Welshman on the bench even when he had been available in the past. On Sunday, he was initially part of the matchday squad but surprisingly pulled out on the day of El Clasico, and did not even appear on the bench.