Real Madrid host Deportivo Alaves in the Spanish La Liga as Los Blancos continue their push for the title

Real Madrid are only 2 points ahead of their fierce rivals Barcelona in the La Liga – although they have a game in hand – and will be looking to ensure there are no slip-ups on Sunday evening as they host Deportivo Alaves.

Alaves have been the surprise package this season and have proven time and time again that they are a difficult side to beat. They will be looking to capitalise on the fact that several of Real’s players have just returned from the international break.

Madrid will be without Casemiro who has picked up a suspension, while Sergio Ramos has been rested. Speaking before the match, manager Zindedine Zidane revealed his reasons behind leaving out the talismanic Real Madrid captain, while hinting at a potential rest for midfielder Luka Modric.

“He’ll [Ramos] have a rest tomorrow and that’s all there is to it. It’s a decision made by the coach because he’s played a lot. All the players are vital,” he said.

“He’s [Modric] a key player. Now we’re thinking about what’s coming up and he’s played a lot of minutes. He’s fine physically and if he gets some game time it’ll be due to how the game is going or to change the tactical side of things”.

GIJON, SPAIN - MARCH 24: Sergio Ramos of Spain looks on prior to the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Spain and Israel at Estadio El Molinon on March 24, 2017 in Gijon, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Well-deserved rest. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Zidane also confirmed that he would not deter from playing star forward Cristiano Ronaldo who is on four yellow cards, while stressing that Madrid would seriously assess how they manage the situation.

“It may be that he picks up another, but Cristiano Ronaldo knows we’re not going to look at the fact he’s on four cards. He’s got four yellows and I hope that’s the way it stays until the end. He has to play like he always does and we’ll look at how we’re going to manage the situation”.

Alaves will be without Marcos Llorente, who is ineligible for the visitors due to the terms of his loan deal from Real Madrid. Zouhair Feddal is available after suspension and should slot into the back four once again.

 

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