Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are among a number of players set to return when Real Madrid take on Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday night.
Real Madrid will be hoping to keep pace with Atletico Madrid in the race to finish second when they pay Valencia a visit at the Mestalla on Wednesday night. And, Zinedine Zidane has recalled several players who were rested this past weekend.
Raphael Varane is among the big name players making their return to the matchday squad, and should be a part of the starting lineup, with Sergio Ramos being his partner at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. The Frenchman was one of the talking points during Zidane’s pre-match press conference, amid talks of an uncertain future.
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“He’s a young player who has been here for 8 years and is doing well. Lots of things are said from the outside, that’s life. He didn’t say anything to me, if you know something…The important thing is what the player tells me, and he’s at the best club in the world and has won a lot of things here.”
The left-back slot was another key talking point, and Zidane established that Marcelo is now the first-choice for the position, with Sergio Reguilon being his backup, “When he’s good, we need Marcelo to always play like that. We’re always going to ask for more.”
“I love him as a player and I want him to play a lot more from here until the end. And that doesn’t take away what Reguilón has done, he is the second left back at the moment and will also play from here to the end of the season.”
Marcelo should thus, start on the left side of the Real Madrid defence, with Alvaro Odrioziola continuing on the opposite flank, seeing as Dani Carvajal is still unavailable. Behind the defensive line, Keylor Navas should be deployed between the sticks, after Luca Zidane was preferred against Huesca.
In midfield, the big news is the return of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to the squad to face Valencia after being rested against Huesca. The experienced creative duo should start on Wednesday, as should Casemiro, who is likely to replace Marcos Llorente in the holding midfield role.
Up ahead in attack, Karim Benzema’s place is guaranteed, especially for a game against a high quality opposition like Valencia. Gareth Bale should retain his place in the side as well, although Marco Asensio is in contention to replace him. The final spot should be taken up by Isco, who has been in fine form since Zidane returned; the Spaniard should start at the tip of a midfield diamond.