Zinedine Zidane is likely to reinstate Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup as they host Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
Real Madrid host Atletico Madrid in a Madrid derby that will be highly influential in the race for La Liga Santander. The Madrid capital will be divided on Saturday as Santiago Bernabeu plays hosts to what is expected to be a highly competitive derby.
And Real Madrid are at near full strength, with everyone barring Raphael Varane available for selection for Zinedine Zidane; something the Frenchman will be delighted with. Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo were rested in the midweek but are set to be reinstated into the starting lineup.
In fact the whole BBC was handed a much-needed rest in an attempt to keep the trio fresh for the Madrid derby. Zinedine Zidane highlighted the importance of BBC in the pre-match conference, while saying that it is likely to come down to finishing the chances – meaning a straight battle between Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann.
“The plan is for them to come into the end of the season in top physical shape. When neither Bale nor Cristiano Ronaldo played the other day, that was because we know we’ve got a lot of games. Yes, they [Benzema and Griezmann] can both be the difference, but I hope it’s Benzema who proves it. All the players have real quality and can be decisive.”
Real Madrid will rely on their attack for the victory due to the flailing defence. Atletico Madrid on the other hand, have a host of injury issues to take care of. Miguel Angel Moya, Sime Vrsaljko and Tiago are all absentees for the game along with Augusto Fernandez.
Nico Gaitan and Kevin Gameiro are both doubtful for the match, which might hinder Los Rojiblancos’ chances of securing a win at Santiago Bernabeu.
Anything but a win would pile more pressure on Real Madrid, with Barcelona breathing down their necks. But, a win against Diego Simeone’s men would not only help in maintaining their lead atop the La Liga table but also give them a burst of confidence heading into the final stretch.