Zinedine Zidane will be without just two first-team players when Real Madrid welcome Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Real Madrid will look to quickly move on from yet another frustrating result this season when they play hosts to Real Sociedad at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. While the results have, at times, not been ideal, Zinedine Zidane can be optimistic about the fact that there aren’t a lot of injuries hampering his preparation.
On Saturday, he will be without just two first-team players due to fitness problems, with Jesus Vallejo recovering from a thigh injury. Dani Ceballos is the other absentee, as he continues to struggle with a sprained ankle.
Despite a near full-strength squad being available though, the Real Madrid boss could make a few rotations keeping one eye on the midweek Champions League tie against PSG. Zidane, though, is adamant that his focus is solely on the game against the Basque club, confirming the same in his pre-match press conference.
“We’re just focused on this game. We want to put in a good performance and it won’t be an easy match against tough opposition. It’s an important LaLiga fixture and we want to take three points.”
Nevertheless, a few changes can be expected, with the likes of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Marcelo likely to be rested. One player who looks certain to start is Dani Carvajal, who will miss the PSG game due to suspension.
Alongside him in the defensive unit, should be Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, with Theo Hernandez possibly deputising for Marcelo. Behind the back-four, Keylor Navas should continue between the sticks.
Up ahead in midfield, Isco is the likeliest candidate to replace Modric, with Casemiro and Toni Kroos making up the numbers in Real Madrid’s midfield. Heading into the game, there have been talks of the Spaniard being unsettled and Zidane addressed the speculation.
“A while back you were asking me why he hadn’t signed. I believe in my team and will do so until the end. I put my all into everything I do and I believe in it wholeheartedly. I want him to spend his entire career here and that won’t change. He’s a superb player and he’s shown that, it’s not true we want to sell him.”
Upfront, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are certain starters, despite the crucial European fixture looming. But, Marco Asensio should fill in for Gareth Bale, whose fitness needs to be managed by the Real Madrid boss even though he’s looked in top form so far.