Although Real Madrid managed to end a disastrous 5-game winless streak by beating Viktoria Plzen 2-1 in the Champions League, Julen Lopetegui’s job is still on the line.
Currently, the most under-pressure manager in Europe along with Jose Mourinho has seen his team losing four out of five matches in all competitions prior to a narrow win over the Czech Republic outfit.
Los Blancos fans are not accustomed to the poor results and have a “zero tolerance” attitude to managers in trouble. However, Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno has backed his struggling chief of staff, having insisted Lopetegui will lead the team from the bench in weekend’s showdown against Barcelona.
“Lopetegui will sit on the bench at Camp Nou as normal,” he told Movistar. “In these kinds of situations, it is important to remain calm and trust the players. Sunday’s game is a great motivation for us.”
With Los Merengues set to face-off against arch-rivals in 237th competitive El Clasico, the former Porto manager is obliged to wrap up a positive outcome, as his side already trail the Blaugrana by 4 points.
Additionally, under the guidance of Lopetegui, the 13-time Champions League winners have set their own negative record after missing to score for 465 minutes in all competitions.
In spite of Marcelo’s goal against Levante last weekend, which has ended Real Madrid’s longest scoreless streak in history, the Champions League holders have failed to win four straight times in La Liga.
Therefore, if Lopetegui wants to save his job, he has to walk away from Camp Nou with some points in his pocket.