Vinicius or no? The dilemma for Solari in Plzen

MADRID, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari will have to decide whether to bow to pressure from fans and press and put Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr. in his side which faces Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.

Real Madrid travel to the Czech Republic after a 2-0 win at home to Valladolid in Solari’s league debut on Saturday.

Although it was another unconvincing display from Madrid, they took the lead in the 83rd minute thanks to Vinicius and a stroke of luck. Although the youngster’s shot was going well wide before it took a wicked deflection to end up in the back of the net, his entry as a second half substitute had injected urgency into Solari’s side and got the fans on their feet.

Vinicius at least looked to take on and beat rival players and his attitude contrasted with that of Gareth Bale, who one commentator said appeared to be “living in his own world,” during the game.

Solari had told Bale prior to the match that he “had the spotlight,” but the Welsh international failed to take a starring role and now Madrid fans want to see how the understudy performs.

Madrid have six points from their three Champions League games, but can’t afford to drop points in Plzen if they want to assure finishing first in their qualifying group and avoiding a more difficult rival in the last 16.

Rafael Varane, Dani Carvajal, Jesus Vallejo and Marcelo are all still out due to injury and B-teamer Javi Sanchez has a chance of playing, while Sergio Ramos partners Sergio Reguilon in central defense, but most attention will be focused on who plays in attack.

Meanwhile Valencia need to rediscover their scoring touch when they entertain Young Boys in the Mestalla Stadium on Wednesday.

With just 8 goals in 14 matches in all competitions, it is not hard to see what Valencia’s problem has been this season. Marcelino Garcia’s side have just two points from three Champions League matches this campaign, but with Manchester United travelling to face Juventus (who look destined to finish as runaway group winners), a victory for Valencia against their Swiss rivals would give them an excellent chance of making the last 16 of the tournament.

A failure to win on the other hand would pile the pressure on Marcelino after Saturday’s home defeat to Girona in the Liga Santander.

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