Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is set to recall Isco to the starting XI against Celta Vigo, in his first game in-charge after replacing Santiago Solari.
Real Madrid will be aiming to kickstart Zinedine Zidane’s second managerial stint with a win, when they welcome relegation battlers Celta Vigo to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.
Zidane returned into the Real Madrid hotseat earlier this week, as the club sacked Santiago Solari after a string of poor results. And the Frenchman, who enjoyed immense success in his first spell with the club, will be hoping to get things back on track and lead the Merengues to a strong end to the season. And that is what he reiterated in his pre-match press conference.
“After three days with them, they look in good shape to me and keen to do well. There are 11 games left to finish the season well and the players are happy,” Zidane said.
Real Madrid have been boosted by the return of captain Sergio Ramos, who was suspended for the game against Real Valladolid last weekend. However, Dani Carvajal remains sidelined with an injury.
Thibaut Courtois is the undisputed first-choice between the sticks in the La Liga for Real Madrid. But, Zidane’s return at the club could see that change, as Keylor Navas is in line to be reinstated to the starting lineup. Alvaro Odriozola starts at right-back in Carvajal’s absence, with Raphael Varane and Ramos at the heart of the defence.
Sergio Reguilon has made the left-back slot his own in recent months and while Zidane’s arrival offers some hope for veteran Marcelo, the academy graduate is expected to feature from the get-go against Celta Vigo on Saturday.
The holding midfield position is a concern for Real Madrid as Marcos Llorente is still not fit to return to action, while Casemiro is suspended after being sent off in the last game against Valladolid.
Luka Modric could fill in as the No.6 for the home team on Saturday. Toni Kroos has been well below his best in the past few matches, but is expected to be given another chance in the starting lineup, while the third midfield slot is likely to be taken up by Spanish international Dani Ceballos.
Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior remain sidelined for Real Madrid, while Gareth Bale has returned from an ankle problem and makes it into the 19-man squad named by Zidane. But, the Welshman is unlikely to feature from kick-off against Fran Escriba’s men.
Instead, Spanish playmaker Isco is likely to get the nod on the right flank for Real Madrid on Saturday. The 26-year-old had been isolated by former manager Solari and had been dropped out of the squad for a couple of games due to disciplinary reasons, but is back in the scheme of things under Zidane and should get a chance this weekend.
Marco Asensio is the obvious choice to feature on the left flank against Celta, while Karim Benzema will lead the line and look to build on his performance against Real Valladolid, when he bagged a second-half double.