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It may be the end of the BBC. Not the British Broadcasting Corporation, but Real Madrid’s awkwardly named front trio.
It was only in January when Los Blancos sat six points clear at the top of La Liga, unbeaten, looking like clear winners.
But now they sit second, behind Barcelona, although if they do win their game in hand they will move back up to the top of the league.
And with Madrid struggling, the front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema has come in for criticism.
Both the Madrid-based media and Madrid fans have called for Álvaro Morata, who has not been a regular starter since returning from Juventus, to replace Benzema in the starting line-up.
So, is it time for BBC to become ABC? If we’re allowed to refer to Ronaldo by his first name to fit the nickname, we can do the same for Morata.
A statistical look
In the league Benzema has started nearly twice as much as Morata, with 15 starts compared to just eight – meaning he has had a lot more time on the pitch than the Spaniard (1219 minutes compared to 818).
Despite that, Morata has been involved directly in 10 goals (eight goals and two assists) this season, while Benzema has been involved in just eight (five goals and three assists).
If you look at that per 90 minutes, it is even more damning for the Frenchman.
Morata has 0.9 goals per 90 minutes, whereas Benzema has just 0.4.
And per 90 minutes, the number of assists is both exactly the same at 0.2.
It is no real surprise that Morata has a higher number of goals per 90 minutes if you look at the shooting statistics of the pair.
The Spaniard takes 4.1 shots per 90 minutes in La Liga this season, whereas Benzema has taken just 3.3.
And not only does Morata take more shots, he is also more accurate with them too – with a a shot accuracy of 58 per cent compared to 53 percent of Benzema.
There are a number of things you want from a striker, but the primary aim of a striker is to score.
Put simply, if Morata is taking more shots than Benzema, and above that those shots are more accurate than the Frenchman’s, he is more likely to score.
But Benzema does offer a few qualities that Morata doesn’t have – the 29-year-old has a better passing accuracy rate (81 per cent to 75 per cent), something which is particularly impressive given that most of his play will be in the final third.
He also creates more chances than the 24-year-old, making 1.8 per 90 minutes, compared to Morata’s 1.3.
But in terms of successful take ons, it’s the Madrid native who comes out on top again – with 58.3 per cent compared to just 42.1 per cent.
And Morata definitely offers more in the air too – just think how many crucial late goals Real Madrid score from headers.
The Spaniard wins 62.5 per cent of his aerial duels, while Benzema wins less than half of his – 46.7 per cent.
Does Zidane trust Morata yet?
While Zinedine Zidane played Morata against Las Palmas from the start, there are still questions over whether he properly trusts the Spaniard over his fellow compatriot.
Indeed, with Real Madrid 3-1 down, he took off Morata to bring on Benzema.
He is asked week in, week out about whether Morata and Isco, who is also struggling for minutes at the Bernabéu, should start.
READ MORE: The Time Is Right For Isco To Leave Real Madrid
When the two came on in the second half and turned the game around against Villarreal last weekend, Zidane admitted they were crucial in Madrid’s 3-2 win.
“There is no doubt that Isco and Morata deserve to get more minute,” the Madrid boss told reporters.
“They did very well and changed the game for us.
“I’m certain that we will need to call on the whole squad.”
The test will be in the coming weeks to see if Zidane really does trust Morata and gives him more time on the pitch.
A long-term solution?
With Benzema not being hugely impressive and Morata struggling to convince Zidane to play him, you have to wonder if either of them have a long-term future at Madrid.
Despite Sergio Agüero’s comments that he will discuss his Manchester City future in the summer, there is definitely an uncertainty over his future at the Etihad.
READ MORE: Who Will Be Real Madrid's Next Galáctico?
And with him being a long-term Real Madrid transfer target, there is no doubt the Bernabéu hierarchy would want to make him the next galáctico if they could.
And maybe the ABC attacking trident of Agüero, Bale and Ronaldo could really compete with Barcelona’s MSN of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar.
To convince the Madrid board that is not the solution, you would expect either Morata or Benzema to have to play out of their skin to do it, and who knows, if Zidane does give the Spaniard a proper chance, he may well save Madrid a lot of money – and the fans would love a home-grown player doing so too.