Raphael Varane was forced off the pitch, clutching his hamstring in the 72nd minute of Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat at Mestalla. Reports confirm that he could be out for 3-5 weeks depending upon the recovery time needed by the young defender. This comes as a blow to the young man, who had been a mainstay in Real Madrid’s side, despite all of Zinedine Zidane’s customary rotation.

However, this paves way to the introduction of the experienced head of Pepe, or the tenacious, but underrated Nacho, of which only one will be selected with the concept of a 3 man backline to be scrapped, after harsh comments from all sides of media. Ramos and Pepe makes sense on a cohesive sense, because both of them have played together for a minimum of 5 seasons, but Nacho’s drastic upturn in form could lead the way to him being selected over Pepe. An important contributor in both of Real Madrid’s most convincing wins, the 3-0 win over Sevilla at Santiago Bernabeu, and the 3-0 win over Atletico at the Calderon, he is well on track to become a fan favourite, being a canterano of the Castilla academy as well.

However, in this part of the season, where tactical mistakes are incredibly well-punished, and well noted, it makes sense for Zizou to pick Pepe and play it the safer way out, considering the fact that his bravery and determination has bailed the team out on several occasions in the past 3 seasons, where he has considerably calmed down his inner “King-Kong” like state, and has become a serene, positionally well-placed defender who can also distribute the ball well.

One of the biggest reasons for the success of Zidane’s Real Madrid this season, is that he holds a huge squad, a deep one, and the knowledge that every player can be replaced. With the veil of unpredictability, he faces his next test, the Yellow Submarine at their home. With them in good form, having beat a seemingly unbeatable Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, they are one team to be feared. This will not be a freeze.