Real Madrid make a short trip across town to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium to face rivals Atletico Madrid, as they prepare to battle it out for third place in the La Liga table.
As per Real’s official site, a number of players like Raphael Varane (ankle) and Mateo Kovacic (groin) have all recovered and are fit to start tonight against their cross-town rivals, having trained with the rest of the squad.
Those key players include Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal (Pericarditis) and Zidane confirmed that the duo were ready, saying in his pre-match press conference, “They’re both ready. Luka was off colour yesterday but he’s fine. Dani has been ready for a while now. He didn’t go away with the national team because it was better for him to keep working here”.
The Frenchman didn’t hold back in his praise for Atletico’s quality, saying, “They’re a convincing outfit who know what they’re doing. They’ll play a good game. We’ll try and make things uncomfortable for the opposition and try and make sure they can’t hurt us.”
Meanwhile, Zinedine Zidane will be without the services of Gareth Bale and Keylor Navas. Bale, in particular, has suffered a fresh injury on his return from a calf problem, and is set for an extended period on the sidelines.
As for his counterpart Diego Simeone, he too will be buoyed by the return of a key trio. As per a statement on their official site, Yannick Carrasco, Koke and Filipe Luis have all recovered from their respective injuries, and are fit to start tonight.
With both sides at full strength, this promises to be an exciting encounter and a historic one at that. Besides the obvious need to keep up with Valencia and Barcelona, who are 4 and 8 points ahead of them respectively, bragging rights are up for grabs.