Real Madrid will welcome Casemiro back into the side but will continue to be without key men Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema for their game against Inter Milan.
After a disappointing couple of results in La Liga, Real Madrid will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan at San Siro in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane continues to be plagued by several roster issues heading into the game, with as many as six first-team members ruled out of the contest. Alvaro Odriozola, Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema are all out injured while Eder Militao and Luka Jovic miss out after having tested positive for coronavirus recently.
The absence of Ramos, in particular, is a major blow for Real Madrid, who have struggled to stay solid at the back. Zidane, though, urged his players to step up in their skipper’s absence and turn things around, in his pre-match press conference.
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“We know just how important Sergio is. We’re aware of what a great player he is, but statistics are there to be broken. We know that it’s a cup final, it’s three points, we know how things stand in the group and we’re going to go out there, whilst being aware that we’ll have to dig in, but we’re raring to get the three points,” he said.
In the Real Madrid captain’s absence, Nacho is once again likely to start alongside Raphael Varane at the heart of the defence. Dani Carvajal is the undisputed starter at right-back, while Ferland Mendy should once again get the nod over Marcelo on the left. There is no looking past Thibaut Courtois in goal for the Merengues.
There could be some shuffling in the middle of the park as Casemiro’s return provides a timely boost for Real Madrid. The Brazilian enforcer should walk right back into the starting XI against Inter Milan, slotting in at the base of the three-man midfield.
With Valverde ruled out, Zidane is likely to opt for the vastly experienced duo of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to start again, which means Martin Odegaard will be the one making way for Casemiro.
Eden Hazard put in an uninspiring performance at the weekend against Villarreal, but will be given another chance to redeem himself in Italy. The Belgian ought to start on the left, while Rodrygo, who scored the late winner against Inter Milan in the reverse fixture earlier this month, should get the nod on the right flank.
Finally, with both Benzema and Jovic ruled out, Mariano Diaz, who will be high on confidence after scoring at the weekend, should once again start as the centre-forward.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Diaz, Hazard