Zinedine Zidane is not expected to make a lot of changes to his starting XI, although Casemiro should return in place of Martin Odegaard.

Real Madrid will hope to trampoline back to winning ways when they face off against Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin on Saturday. Betis have enjoyed a perfect start to life thus far in La Liga under new coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Zinedine Zidane’s men looked sharp in the attack against Real Sociedad but were put off by a cracking display from centre-half duo Aritz Elustondo and Robin le Normand. Martin Odegaard, Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy seemed to pick off where they left last season, with brilliant individual displays.

Real Madrid are, however, missing several key names, which could result in the same lineup as last time out, or one with minimal changes. Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio were missing the previous weekend, but returned to training during the build-up to the game. However, they have not been included in the squad, which was raised as a question in Zidane’s pre-match press conference.

“They’ve only just got back involved, in the sense that they haven’t trained much,” the Real Madrid manager said before continuing, “We’ve got another game on Wednesday then another on the weekend. We’ve got a lot of games to play and we’ll see how we’re going to manage it.”

This leaves Real Madrid with Lucas Vasquez, Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr. as the options for the wings. The two Brazilians, Vinicius and Rodrygo, are expected to retain their spots on the left and right flanks, respectively. Between them, leading the line will be Los Blancos’ top goalscorer and top assist provider from last season, Karim Benzema.

Odegaard, despite his impressive start, is expected to be dropped for Casemiro, who will add more depth to Real Madrid’s midfield, equipping them better to deal with the creative threat posed by Joaquin and Nabil Fekir. Toni Kroos will take up one of the two box-to-box midfield slots, while Luka Modric will complete the midfield triumvirate.

Much like the attack, there will be no changes to the defence despite Marcelo receiving the green light for this game. One of the best performers from last weekend, Ferland Mendy, will continue at left-back, while Dani Carvajal provides width from the right.

Mendy and Carvajal will be flanking Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos, the two constants at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. Behind them, Thibaut Courtois will hold the fort for the defending champions in the six-yard box.

Real Madrid Predicted XI:ย Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius

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