Zinedine Zidane has just one player unavailable as Real Madrid get set to take on Malaga at La Rosaleda on Sunday.
Real Madrid will be aiming to get back to winning ways, and up to third, when they travel to La Rosaleda to face rock-bottom Malaga on Sunday. And Zinedine Zidane will not just be buoyed by his side’s progress to UEFA Champions League semi-finals, but also the availability of a near-full strength squad.
The Real Madrid boss is without just one first-team player, with Nacho recovering from a thigh injury he picked up last month. The Spaniard is only expected to return to action towards the end of the campaign. Zidane though, urged his side to keep their levels high, in his pre-match press conference, despite Malaga’s lowly position on the table.
“There’s no reason for us to believe that this game will be any more difficult than the rest of them. It’s always tough straight after a Champions League game because we put in a massive effort. We’ve managed the workload well over these three days and are ready for another LaLiga game and to put in a good performance.”
Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing out against Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final second leg due to a one-match ban. The Real Madrid captain should line up alongside Raphael Varane at the heart of the defence.
Guarding the flanks should be Dani Carvajal and Theo Hernandez, with the latter enabling Zidane to rest Marcelo following a tired showing against the Bianconeri. Behind the back-four, Keylor Navas will look to make amends after a disastrous performance on Wednesday.
In midfield, Luka Modric and Casemiro are likely to be afforded a rest as well, with Mateo Kovacic replacing them in midfield as Toni Kroos’s partner. Zidane should shuffle his system once again for a league game, changing the formation to a 4-4-2.
The change in system should see Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez returning to the side, manning the wide areas. Upfront, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are expected to be the strike partners, with Cristiano Ronaldo likely to be omitted from the matchday squad altogether, as has been the case of late against lowly opposition.
Isco might be rested as well, although the Spaniard has recovered from a knock he sustained during the midweek game against Juventus.