Sergio Ramos has been rested Luka Modric and Gareth Bale are in line to return to the starting lineup when Real Madrid take on Club Brugge on Wednesday.
Real Madrid will be hoping to continue their fine run of form when they face Club Brugge at the Jan Breydel Stadium on Wednesday night. Heading into the game, Zinedine Zidane does not have any fresh injury concerns to deal with, although he is set to ring in the changes in his side’s final UEFA Champions League group stage encounter this season.
The shuffles are set to come into effect right at the back, with Alphonse Areola expected to make his full Champions League debut for Real Madrid. In defence, Sergio Ramos has been excluded from the travelling squad to face Club Brugge, with a view to giving him a rest ahead of more severe excursions this month.
Raphael Varane has travelled to Bruges, but is likely to be rested, like Ramos. In the absence of Ramos and Varane, Eder Militao and the fit-again Nacho are expected to partner up at the heart of the Real Madrid defence.
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Dani Carvajal ought to be given a breather as well, with Alvaro Odriozola starting as the right-back in his stead. Marcelo still remains unavailable due to the calf injury he is recovering from, meaning Ferland Mendy will keep his place as Real Madrid’s left-back.
Up ahead in midfield, Toni Kroos has been excluded from the travelling squad, like Ramos. In addition to Kroos, Casemiro should be rested as well, although Zidane was rather coy when quizzed on the prospect of giving the Brazilian a break during his pre-match press conference.
“We know just how important he is and that he’s had a lot of game time, but a coach has to name his squad and think about a particular game. We know how important he is, but there are also many other players who’ve played a lot of football and that includes those who’ve played games with their national teams.”
Despite Zidane’s comments, Casemiro ought to be rested, with Luka Modric likely to come into the starting lineup in his stead, while Isco should replace Kroos. Modric, though, is unlikely to be the holding midfielder, with Federico Valverde starting at the base of the three-man midfield instead.
Zidane also provided an update on the injured Eden Hazard in his presser. The Real Madrid boss said, “I don’t think they’ll need to operate on [Eden] Hazard, but I don’t know exactly. His injury is under control and I hope that it’s less serious than expected. The main thing for him is to be patient and I hope to have him back with us soon.”
In Hazard’s continued absence, Vinicius Jr. could get another chance to impress on the left side of the Real Madrid attack. On the opposite flank, Gareth Bale should start, with Luka Jovic leading the line against Club Brugge in place of Karim Benzema, who is another player due a rest.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Areola; Odriozola, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Valverde, Isco; Bale, Jovic, Vinicius Jr.