Varane, Carvalho and Albiol: Perfect defense

Varane, Albiol and Carvalho are the alternate central defenders of Real Madrid if you look at the opportunities that have been given them by Mourinho this season. The French has played 1249 minutes, the Spanish 739' and the Portuguese 630'. They are far from Sergio Ramos (2141') and the injured Pepe (2094'). But the results obtained by the three alternates in the seven games they have played in the 2012-13 season exceed the numbers of the holders: 86% of wins (six out of seven games) versus 57% (15 out of 26 games). And 0.71 goals against per game versus 1.15 with Pepe and Ramos.

Albiol and Varane playing for Real Madrid

And besides, with Varane, Albiol and Carvalho at the starting lineup of the white team, Real Madrid has achieved three straight matches with a clean sheet. Against Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium (0-5, League) and in the Santiago Bernabeu (2-0, Spanish Cup) and against Osasuna (0-0, League). Overall, Real Madrid has four straight matches with no goals against after the Real Madrid-Celta (4-0, Spanish Cup), in which Ramos was sent off with 2-0. Other contributors to this statistic are Essien and Arbeloa at right-back, Coentrao and Marcelo on the left side and Casillas in goal.

Statistics. Real Madrid team has ended the matches without conceding goals with Pepe and Sergio Ramos, 7 times in 26 matches, 27% of the games. But without any of them in the team, this percentage rises to 42% (3 times in 7 games). The tandem Varane-Albiol, who played in Mestalla and El Sadar, maintains a one hundred per cent record playing together for Real Madrid (6 wins in 6 games, from the previous season and the current one). The French center defender, meanwhile, has a statistic almost flawless when is in the starting lineup: 25 wins, 3 draws and 2 defeats.

Meanwhile, tomorrow marks three weeks of the surgery on the right ankle of Pepe. The Portuguese player will train with the group in the coming days focused on the Real Madrid-Getafe match (next Sunday, 12:00 am CET). If he has good feelings, maybe he could get on the list, thus advancing the recovery period. Ramos, meanwhile, must meet two more games of sanction (Valencia and Getafe). He will return for the first leg of the Spanish Cup semifinals if Real Madrid removes Valencia or, failing that, against Granada (Saturday, February 2, 22:00 pm).

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