In matchday thirty of La Liga, UD Las Palmas play hosts to reigning champions Real Madrid at the Estadio Gran Canaria on Saturday.
As per the official 19-man squad released for this game by Real Madrid, a number of big names were left out for various reasons. Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos and Marcelo have not made the trip with Los Blancos.
Real Madrid are expected to revert back to their 4-3-3 formation for this tie. Keylor Navas is likely to hold on to his place in the squad, with Theo Hernandez and Achraf Hakimi coming into left and right-back respectively to replace Marcelo and Dani Carvajal, who is suspended.
Nacho Fernandez will likely come in for Sergio Ramos and join Raphael Varane in the centre of defence. Further upfront in midfield, Toni Kroos is the only major absentee. Luka Modric, Casemiro and Mateo Kovacic are, thus, expected to make the midfield trio.
Marcos Llorente could also make an appearance in the latter stages of the game. Further upfront in attack, Cristiano Ronaldo has been rested, no doubt keeping in mind Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final first leg clash against Juventus on Tuesday.
Zinedine Zidane has hinted that Gareth Bale is likely to start on Saturday. In his pre-match press conference he said, “He’s ready to play. He played two matches with Wales and tomorrow it’s our turn. He’s ready to play.”
TheWelshman is expected to start on the left wing, with Lucas Vazquez and on the right and Karim Benzema leading the line for Los Blancos.
As things stand, Real Madrid are third in the league with 60 points to their name. Las Palmas, on the other hand, are 18th on the table and 7 points away from safety. And, Zidane was wary about the threat they face while coming up against a side who are fighting for survival.
“Those who travel will have to be prepared because Las Palmas are in trouble and can put in a big performance. The objective is to continue with what we are doing and go little by little, focused on the league”.