Eden Hazard has been rested by Zinedine Zidane while Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior are expected to start when Real Madrid take on Getafe.

Real Madrid will be aiming to increase their lead at the top of the La Liga table over arch rivals Barcelona to four points, when they take on local rivals Getafe at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Thursday.

Ahead of the game, manager Zinedine Zidane has very few injury concerns with Nacho the only first-team member unavailable for selection. However, the Frenchman has opted to leave out star man Eden Hazard from the 24-man squad, resting him for the game.

Speaking of the Belgian wing-wizard in his pre-match presser, Zidane said, “We know what kind of player he is and he’s essential to us. We have to be careful with him because he’s been out of the game with a lot of problems. We have to go easy on him. He’s going to be in good shape soon.”

There are likely to be a few changes made to the side that defeated Espanyol 1-0 last time out. No alteration is expected between the sticks, with Thibaut Courtois in fine form and pushing for the Zamora Trophy.

Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos are certain starters at the heart of the Real Madrid defence, while Dani Carvajal remains the obvious choice at right-back. Zidane is expected to continue to rotate between Marcelo and Ferland Mendy on the left side of the defence, with the latter set to get the nod on Thursday.

Casemiro scored the only goal of the game against Espanyol last time out. On the eve of the game, Zidane had a lot of praise for the Brazilian enforcer. The Real Madrid boss said, “We know how important Casemiro is to the team and the important thing is what he gives us. He brings balance to the team and, like every player, he can always give more.”

Casemiro is a guaranteed starter at the base of the three-man midfield for Real Madrid against Getafe. Toni Kroos, given his form since the restart of the season, should hold on to his spot in the middle of the park as well. There could be one change, though, with Federico Valverde set to make way for seasoned campaigner Luka Modric on Thursday.

There will be one enforced change in attack, with Vinicius Junior set to start in place of the rested Hazard. On the right flank, Isco is likely to continue, although Zidane is not short of options with Rodrygo, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio all available. There is no looking past Karim Benzema in the centre-forward role, with the fit-again Luka Jovic providing cover.

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

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