Zinedine Zidane will be relying on the re-established form of his front three of Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale as Real Madrid travel to face Levante in La Liga.
Real Madrid will be looking to cut the gap between themselves and leaders Barcelona to 16 points with a win over Levante. Zinedine Zidane has already iterated that, while many think La Liga is already done for this season, his side will be looking to plug away at the gap in hope to complete a miraculous comeback.
Zidane has had his problems elevated due to the injuries to Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Jesus Vallejo, leaving just Nacho at the manager’s disposal. But, the manager has included both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane in the 19-man squad for the trip to Levante, which will be a huge boost to Real Madrid and their chances to come out of the match with all three points.
While both of them have been included in the matchday squad, Varane is likely to be fit in time to start alongside Nacho, with Zidane preferring to start the Dani Carvajal and Marcelo on either side of the pair.
In midfield, it seems like Isco, Dani Ceballos and others will have to bide their time, with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro likely to start, with Zidane not wanting to let off any steam.
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The manager was asked to provide his take on Ronaldo and his recent performances, during his pre-match conference.
“He is still here, we always ask more of Cristiano because he sets the benchmark for this team. When a game ends, you can say Cristiano could do better, but I’m happy with him.”
One of the main catalysts of Real Madrid’s form has been Bale’s return to fitness and Zidane hinted that, while the Welshman is still in the recovery phase, he will surely get better game by game, hinting that he is likely to start again, with Marco Asensio on the bench.
“The important thing is that he gets games and continuity. If we see that he plays and recovers quickly, he can be a different player and when he is at the top he really makes the difference. He has scored goals in recent games and when he gets the ball special things can happen, because he has a lot of quality and it is vital for us.”
Real Madrid can move to 3rd on the La Liga table with a win over Levante. But, it will be the 19-point gap that Zidane will be looking to shrink with each passing game.