Marcelo and Rodrygo are in line to start when Real Madrid welcome Real Sociedad to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Real Madrid will be hoping to remain in the upper echelons of La Liga when they play hosts to high flying Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Saturday night. And, Zinedine Zidane has seen his squad’s injury troubles ease up considerably heading into this weekend.
Marcelo is the latest player to return from injury, having made a swift recovery from an issue with his leg. The Brazilian had sustained the injury in the 6-0 rout of Galatasaray in the Champions League, but is now fit and available.
Marcelo should replace Ferland Mendy on the left side of the Real Madrid defence, with Dani Carvajal a certain starter on the right flank. Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos will form the central defensive pairing once again, with Thibaut Courtois taking his place in goal.
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Up ahead in midfield, a major talking point has been the workload of Casemiro. But, after being rested in Brazil’s 3-0 win over South Korea this week, he should be well rested. The 27-year-old should be joined by Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
Attack presents an interesting case, with Gareth Bale being included despite being in the eye of the storm following Wales’ win over Hungary this week. Post the victory, the players unfurled a banner which aimed a sly dig at Real Madrid. But, Zidane brushed the incident aside during his pre-match press conference.
“I think we do a lot of things and make a lot of noise about Bale and the most important thing for me as a coach and for him as a player is to concentrate on football. You know the situation, he’s been with the national team, he’s been able to play and now he’s with us.”
“I’ll always be with the players, things can happen outside, but we’ll always look out on to the pitch, we don’t control what’s outside. I talked to Bale like I talk to all the players. He’s fine, he’s trained normally.”
Bale is a part of the squad picked by Zidane to face Real Sociedad, but is unlikely to make the starting lineup. In his stead, Rodrygo should start, with the Brazilian prodigy another player who the Real Madrid boss spoke off at his presser.
“I’m trying to manage him as best as I can, not put all the pressure on his shoulders. The fact that he’s here shouldn’t surprise anyone, he’s shown that with his quality he can play in this team. He has to be prepared and he has shown that even though he is only 18 years old, in reality, there is no minimum age to play football.”
Rodrygo ought to come into the side in place of the injured Lucas Vazquez, with Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema completing the lineup, leaving Bale and Luka Jovic as the backup attackers.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Hazard