Eden Hazard is in contention to start while Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal may also return when Real Madrid face Granada on Monday.
Zinedine Zidane is tipped to make a few key changes to the Real Madrid side when they lock horns with Granada at Los Carmenes on Monday.
Heading into this game, Zidane has already been boosted by the return of two experienced defenders in Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal. The duo has been named in Real Madrid’s squad to face Granada as Los Blancos look to move one step closer towards securing the league title.
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Ramos is sure to replace Eder Militao in central defence. The Real Madrid captain can, thus, reignite the central defensive partnership with Raphael Varane. Ramos’s experience, leadership and aggression will be key elements as Real Madrid look to continue their incredible defensive record this season. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be equally important, though.
As for Carvajal, he is also guaranteed to return to the right-back slot at the expense of Lucas Vazquez. But with Marcelo out injured, Zidane has no choice but to continue with Ferland Mendy on the opposite flank.
“He hasn’t surprised me. He’s young and talented. He’s demonstrating that on the pitch. You can’t compare him with Marcelo. Marcelo is Marcelo and Mendy is Mendy,” said the Real Madrid boss, in his pre-match online press conference.
In midfield, Luka Modric could be handed a breather, potentially making way for Federico Valverde, whose dynamism, aggression and work-ethic are better suited against Granada’s second line of press.
The young Uruguayan international should form the three-man Real Madrid midfield alongside the ever-present figures of Casemiro and Toni Kroos. Isco is another option should Zidane opt for more creativity in the number eight or number slot.
In attack, Eden Hazard is in contention to start, although Zidane sounded rather coy about it, stating, “He’s available. The most important thing is to have the players available and then we’ll see how we’re going to do things tomorrow.”
We do expect the Belgian international to replace Marco Asensio at right wing, with Rodrygo deployed on the left. Finally, the Real Madrid attack should be spearheaded by this season’s star performer, Karim Benzema. The Frenchman picked up a slight knock in the last game but should be fit enough to start as Real Madrid look to come out all guns blazing in this one.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Hazard, Benzema, Rodrygo