Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale will miss out for Real Madrid through injury when they take on RCD Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium on Saturday.
Real Madrid will be continue their unbeaten start to the La Liga season and consolidate their place atop the table when they travel to the Iberostar Stadium to face RCD Mallorca on Saturday night. Zinedine Zidane, though, has seen his squad’s injury woes compound ahead of this weekend’s fixture.
There are no issues whatsoever in the goalkeeping department, with Thibaut Courtois back in the travelling squad after missing out last time around against Granada. And, the Belgian should return to the starting lineup, replacing Alphonse Areola.
The problems start at the back, with Nacho (knee) and Ferland Mendy (thigh) continuing to remain unavailable. The pair have been joined on the sidelines by Dani Carvajal, who has been rested after his excursions with Spain during the international break.
📝 Our 19-man squad for the match against @RCD_Mallorca!
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 19, 2019
In his stead, Alvaro Odriozola will start as the right-back, with Marcelo returning to the starting lineup after recovering from a neck injury that forced him to miss out against Granada. Marcelo will replace Carvajal as Real Madrid’s left-back when they face Mallorca. Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos should continue as the visitors’ central defensive partnership.
The concerns do not stop in midfield, with Zidane being dealt a major blow ahead of the trip to Mallorca. Midfield stalwarts Toni Kroos (foot) and Luka Modric (leg) miss out due to their respective injury problems, leaving the Real Madrid boss with just four recognised options for the middle of the park.
Casemiro is a certain starter at the base of the three-man midfield, while Federico Valverde should keep hold of his place after impressing in recent fixtures. The final starting spot will likely be handed to Isco, who replaces Kroos and returns to the starting lineup for the first time since August.
The injury list becomes more extensive in attack, with Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard not being a part of the squad named by Zidane. While Bale picked up a knock during the international break, Hazard misses out due to the birth of his fourth child. Lucas Vazquez (leg) and Marco Asensio (knee) are on the sidelines.
The duo’s absence has opened up spots for Brahim Diaz and Mariano Diaz, both of whom are in contention to start for the first time this season. And, Zidane spoke on the two players during his pre-match press conference.
“They have to be patient because there are a lot of players here and I’m relying on them all. Each player knows their situation. They have to be ready and do a good job when they’re called upon.”
Brahim and Mariano, though, are unlikely to start, with James Rodriguez and Vinicius Jr. expected to replace Bale and Hazard. Karim Benzema will lead the line for Real Madrid, with Luka Jovic missing out once again.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Valverde, Casemiro, Isco; James Rodriguez, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.