Zinedine Zidane will be without six first-team players as Real Madrid visit the Mendizorrotza to take on Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.
Real Madrid have endured a tough start to their 2017-18 campaign in La Liga, having already fallen seven points behind bitter rivals Barcelona. As they look to get back to winning ways against Deportivo Alaves on Saturday, Real Madrid have a gruesome task at hand.
The injury list seems to be growing for Zinedine Zidane with each passing week as he has several fitness problems to deal with ahead of the trip to the Mendizorrotza. In fact, the Real Madrid boss is set to be without as many as six first-team players due to several injury concerns.
Toni Kroos (ribs) and Marcelo (leg) are the latest players on the treatment table after the duo picked up their respective injuries during the midweek game against Real Betis. While Kroos is expected to be available soon, Marcelo is likely to be sidelined for at least a month due to a Grade 2 tear.
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The duo have joined Jesus Vallejo (muscular problems), Theo Hernandez (dislocated shoulder), Karim Benzema (hamstring) and Mateo Kovacic (abductor injury). Vallejo and Theo, like Kroos, are short-term absentees, but Benzema and Kovacic are only expected to make a return by November.
Speaking on his growing injury list during his pre-match press conference, Zidane said that while they are indeed frustrating, fitness problems are a part and parcel of the game that every side has to deal with over the course of a long season.
“Injuries are always frustrating for a coach but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Zidane said. “That can happen over the course of a season and we have to deal with it.”
Speaking on the injury to Kroos, the Frenchman said, “He felt discomfort in his ribs again after the game and we didn’t want to take any risks. I hope it’s nothing serious and he’ll be able to play on Tuesday. He’s in a bit of pain today and the match is tomorrow – we’re not going to risk it.”
Meanwhile, Alaves boss Luis Zubeldia will be without four first-team players ahead of the visit of Real Madrid on Saturday, with Bojan Krkic (thigh), Einar Galilea (ACL), Hector Hernandez (knee) and Victor Laguardia (ACL) sidelined with short-to-long-term injuries.