Zinedine Zidane is likely to make minimal changes and put out a strong Real Madrid starting eleven for the Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund.
Real Madrid have secured qualification and face Borussia Dortmund – a team that needs to win in order to secure a spot in the knockout phase of the Europa League – on Wednesday. And judging by Zinedine Zidane’s pre-match conference, Los Blancos are unlikely to make it easy for the visitors.
The manager highlighted that despite Real Madrid’s qualification to the knockout phase, he, his players and the club want to give a good performance in front of the home crowd on Wednesday, which hints to minimal rotation and a start to most of the key players.
“We know they’ve got a lot to play for. We’ve already qualified but we’re focused on giving a good performance. We won’t consider our opponent’s position, we’ll only be looking at ourselves, and that means playing a good match.”
Players called for the match against Dortmund pic.twitter.com/5oRJ9uzzPw
— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) December 6, 2017
Gareth Bale remains sidelined and Zinedine Zidane did not provide much encouragement on the Welshman’s chances of making it to the Club World Cup. The manager did confirm, though, that he will be on the plane to Abu Dhabi.
“I don’t know, we’ll see if he can play against Sevilla. He still hasn’t trained with us. He’s out on the pitch doing bits, but not alongside the team. First he has to train with the group, but he’ll certainly be coming to Abu Dhabi.”
There are hints by Zidane that he could field a full-strength eleven. However, the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Dani Ceballos will be hoping for a rare start this season. Zidane has named just five defenders as part of his 18-man squad and we believe he could rest Sergio Ramos for the tie, meaning the other four – Nacho, Marcelo, Varane and Theo should all start.
Many had hoped for another start being afforded to Achraf Hakimi, but it looks like Theo Hernandez will be deployed in the position against Borussia Dortmund, who themselves have a lot to worry about as far as injuries and suspensions go.