Casemiro is back from suspension and should start in place of Luka Modric while Vinicius Junior is ruled out as Real Madrid face Eibar in La Liga on Sunday.
Real Madrid will be looking to extend their winning run to five games in all competitions when they travel to Ipurua Stadium to take on SD Eibar in matchweek 14 of the 2020/21 La Liga on Sunday.
Ahead of the game, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been handed a fresh roster issue as forward Vinicius Junior misses out due to gastroenteritis. While Eden Hazard has returned to training the Merengues’ manager hasn’t included the Belgian for the weekend trip to Eibar.
📸 Zidane: ''My idea of counting on all of them won't change. We've got an important game tomorrow. We've got enough to be thinking about and have to just focus on what we're all doing".#RMCity | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/IuzGVwO2Y9
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) December 19, 2020
“I don’t think that he’ll be involved because he’s feeling ill. I think that he’s got gastroenteritis. He hasn’t got fever, but he doesn’t feel right,” Zidane said about Vinicius in his pre-match presser. Speaking of Hazard, he added, “He’s doing well and is virtually fully recovered. He’s not quite ready to play yet, but he’s training well with the team.”
While the manager hinted that he will keep rotation to a bare minimum, given the number of high-intensity fixtures that Real Madrid have played of late, there could be a few changes made to the lineup that started the midweek clash against Athletic Bilbao.
No alterations are expected in goal, however, with Thibaut Courtois, who was brilliant in midweek, being the undisputed starter. Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos are certainties at the heart of the Real Madrid backline while Dani Carvajal should continue at right-back. But, there could be a change on the left, with Marcelo coming in for Ferland Mendy.
Real Madrid have received a boost in the midfield department ahead of the game as Casemiro is back in contention after missing the last game due to suspension. The Brazilian enforcer should walk right back into the starting XI on Sunday, slotting in at the base of the three-man midfield.
Making way for Casemiro in the side should be Luka Modric, who, while being one of Real Madrid’s top performers of late, needs to be carefully managed given his age amidst the fixture pile-up. Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde, who made his return from injury against Athletic Bilbao, should occupy the remaining two midfield slots.
Lucas Vazquez has been mighty impressive in recent games and should continue to be rewarded with a starting berth on the right flank. Vinicius’ absence opens up the spot on the left, which, his compatriot Rodrygo Goes is likely to fill, although Marco Asensio is an option.
There is no looking past Karim Benzema, who turned 33 on Saturday, to spearhead the Real Madrid attack against Eibar on Sunday.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Vazquez, Benzema, Rodrygo