Eden Hazard is tipped to return to the starting lineup when Real Madrid host Villarreal on Thursday, hoping to seal the league title.
Real Madrid will have the opportunity to seal their third La Liga title since 2010 when they host Villarreal on Thursday at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.
Zinedine Zidane, in his pre-match online press conference, offered some good news regarding the fitness of Eden Hazard. “He’s better, feeling good and he’s back with us. He’s not feeling any of the discomfort he had a few days back and that’s a good sign for us. The important thing is that he’s 100% and we’ll see how to deal with it,” said the Real Madrid boss.
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Hazard did not feature in the win over Granada. But given the importance of this tie, we do expect the Belgian to return to the starting lineup, replacing Federico Valverde in the right wing slot.
There might also be a change on the opposite flank, with Marco Asensio replacing Isco while the Real Madrid attack should once again be spearheaded by Karim Benzema.
In midfield, Luka Modric is naturally supposed to receive a breather, having started the last two matches. However, his amazing run of form should coax Zidane into starting him once again alongside Toni Kroos and Casemiro in the three-man Real Madrid midfield.
“There are many similarities but the most important thing is how the player feels. I left football at 34, but I’m sure Modric wants to continue and he’s having a great season. We know the player he is and we enjoy him and Ramos, who is also 34,” Zidane told the press when asked about Modric prior to this fixture.
Meanwhile, the Real Madrid boss is unlikely to make any changes in defence, having been boosted by the return of Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal on Monday. The latter should retain his slot at right-back, with Ferland Mendy also assuming his role on the opposite flank, especially with Marcelo out injured.
As for Ramos, he should once again partner Raphael Varane, at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline, just ahead of Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian might play a key role for Los Blancos this week given the fact that Villarreal do possess a strong offensive unit, with their tally of 58 goals being only bettered by Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Hazard, Benzema, Asensio