Zinedine Zidane has just two players missing from his first team setup, with captain Sergio Ramos returning to the squad ahead of the visit to Valencia.
Real Madrid will look to continue their winning run on Wednesday as they head to the Mestalla Stadium to take on Valencia. On the agenda for manager Zinedine Zidane would be extending his side’s lead over Barcelona at the top of the table to four points.
In his pre-match press conference, though, Zidane indicated that rotation might be in the offing before adding that he will not do that just for the sake of it. He said, “We are going to rotate players and the games will dedicate who we rotate.
“I don’t rotate players just for the sake of it but because they are all important and because I truly believe that every player can make a difference. This is what I believe and I transmit it to the players. I’m encouraged by what we’re doing now and so are the players.”
Ahead of the trip to Valencia on Wednesday, Zidane chose his 19-man travelling squad that will be tasked with getting the all important three points. Here’s the team news for Real Madrid before they take on the 15th-placed side.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 21, 2017
The reports on that front are getting more positive by the week, with Zidane having no new injury concerns on his hands. In fact, backup fullback options Fabio Coentrao (muscular injury) and Danilo (leg) are the only absentees due to fitness issues for the Real Madrid boss.
Captain Sergio Ramos is the latest name to be declared fit and available, with the centre-back recovering from a back injury. He joins Gareth Bale as the two biggest names off the treatment table after the Welshman returned to action for the first time in almost three months on the weekend.
He marked his comeback in brilliant fashion as he capped off a comfortable 2-0 win for Real Madrid over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu by scoring the winning goal for his side. However, it is highly likely that Bale won’t be in the starting eleven for the second game running.
That is because Zinedine Zidane has said repeatedly that he will not rush Bale back into action to avoid a recurrence of his ankle injury. When asked about Bale’s comeback from injury on Saturday, Zidane said, “He’s good and happy. Physically he’s strong and we’ll see if he’ll play tomorrow from the start or not.”
Karim Benzema and Luka Modric are two more names returning to the match day squad chosen by Zidane after the duo were rested for the visit of Espanyol on the weekend. Both Benzema and Modric are likely to slot right back into the starting lineup with Zidane expected to start with his strongest possible eleven.
Here’s the 19-man travelling Real Madrid squad for the trip to the Mestalla Stadium on Wednesday:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla and Ruben Yáñez.
Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho and Marcelo.
Midfielders: Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Casemiro, Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Alvaro Morata.