Real Madrid will be aiming to secure all three points when they welcome newly-promoted Osasuna to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
After picking up a narrow victory against Sevilla this past weekend, Real Madrid will be hoping to build on it and grab another three points when they host Jagoba Arrasate’s Osasuna side on Wednesday night.
Real Madrid are currently third in the La Liga table and have a chance of going to the top should they manage to beat Los Rojillos and results elsewhere go in their favour. However, their preparations have been hampered by another injury concern, with Ferland Mendy set to miss out with a groin injury.
Speaking of the situation in his pre-match press conference, manager Zinedine Zidane said (h/t Managing Madrid), “I hope it’s a small issue but this can happen because the games are so demanding. Players don’t get rest because they defend their countries when we have a break. I’m bothered but I’m not worried.”
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With Mendy out and Marcelo also sidelined with a neck injury, Nacho is expected to fill in at left-back for Real Madrid on Wednesday night. There should be a change on the opposite flank as well, with Alvaro Odriozola getting the nod over Dani Carvajal, with Zidane likely to rotate his troops keeping the Madrid derby at the weekend in mind.
Raphael Varane has started all of Los Blancos’ matches this season and is in line for a rest. His place in defence could be filled by summer signing Eder Militao, with captain Sergio Ramos alongside him. Thibaut Courtois should continue between the sticks.
There is some good news on the injury front for Real Madrid in the midfield department, with Isco and Luka Modric returning to training. However, the duo are unlikely to be rushed back into action. Casemiro should continue to feature from the get-go again, but Toni Kroos should be rested against Osasuna, with Federico Valverde likely to take his place.
James Rodriguez should continue as the No. 10 for Real Madrid on Wednesday, but Zidane is likely to make changes on the flanks for the fixture. Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard are expected to drop to the bench, with Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior expected to take their spots in the starting lineup.
Karim Benzema has been Real Madrid’s saviour on multiple occasions this season and scored the only goal of the game against Sevilla this past weekend. However, with the Atletico Madrid fixture coming up, Zidane could be forced into benching his star attacker against Osasuna.
“We need to take care of everyone. It’s true that we played last Saturday and we also have a game next Saturday, but everyone has to be ready. We’ll see what we do with Karim but the most important thing is tomorrow’s game,” Zidane said, when quizzed about the possibility of resting Benzema.
While Zidane was coy in his response, it is expected that he will hold the Frenchman back on Wednesday night, with summer recruit Luka Jovic in line to start as the lone striker for Madrid.
Predicted Real Madrid XI (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Odriozola, Militao, Ramos, Nacho; Casemiro, Valverde; Vazquez, Rodriguez, Vinicius; Jovic