Real Madrid host Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, hoping to continue to try and close the gap between themselves and third-placed Valencia.

According to the squad list put up by Real Madrid on their official website, Zidane will be without three first-team players when Los Blancos welcome Villarreal to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. They will however, be able to call upon Dani Carvajal, who has now returned from suspension.

Sergio Ramos will not be able to feature due to a calf injury. Nacho Hernandez is, thus, likely to take his place at the heart of defence alongside Raphael Varane. Dani Carvajal is expected to slot straight back into the side as the right-back after serving his suspension.

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 23: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 23, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Sergio Ramos reacts during the La Liga match against Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 23, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

Zidane has all of his top midfielders available. Only Luca Zidane will remain sidelined due to injury, while Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos have been dropped from the squad. Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Marco Asensio, Mateo Kovacic and Isco are the only midfielders in the squad for the game on Saturday.

Karim Benzema will not feature for Real Madrid as well due to a hamstring injury. Speaking about the Frenchman in his pre-match press conference, Zidane said that the striker has returned to training, but is working his way back to peak fitness.

“I don’t know when he’ll be back with the group. He’s back out on the pitch but we’ll monitor his development and I can’t wait to have him back in the team”.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Borja Mayoral, Gareth Bale and Lucaz Vazquez make up the list of forwards included in the squad. However, it will most likely be Ronaldo and Bale leading the line with Isco in a central attacking role just behind them.

As for their opponents, Javier Calleja has a number of injuries to deal with in his squad. As per their official squad list for this game, Andres Fernandez, Sansone, Roberto Soriano, Semedo and Bruno will miss this tie due to their respective injuries, while Victor Ruiz is suspended.

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