Dani Carvajal and Luka Jovic are ruled out while Eden Hazard should start again when Real Madrid face Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de Espana semi-finals.

Real Madrid will be aiming to take a step closer towards their first silverware of the season when they lock horns with Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana at El Rosaleda on Thursday.

Ahead of the game, manager Zinedine Zidane has been dealt with a double injury blow as Dani Carvajal, who missed the last game against Osasuna due to suspension, has picked up a muscular problem and is a major doubt. In addition, Luka Jovic, who is being heavily linked with an exit from the club, also misses out with an injury.

Addressing Jovic’s situation in his pre-match presser, Zidane said, “He’s with us. He’s not here because he’s injured but he’s with us. I haven’t been told anything and we’ll see what happens. He hasn’t been very lucky because he’s also had difficulty adapting and had some injuries, but he has a lot to learn and he’s going to do that.”

Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Given the importance of the game, it is highly unlikely that Zidane will make any changes to his trusted starting lineup that took the field against Osasuna. Thibaut Courtois is a certainty to feature in goal while the centre-back partnership of Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos should remain intact as well.

With Carvajal unavailable, Zidane is likely to go in with Lucas Vazquez as his right-back ahead of Nacho and Alvaro Odriozola, who finds himself staring at the exit doors. On the opposite flank, Ferland Mendy should once again get the nod over the ageing Marcelo.

The midfield trifecta of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos is unlikely to be broken apart by the Real Madrid manager, meaning Federico Valverde and Martin Odegaard will once again be options on the bench.

Rodrygo Goes remains sidelined with an injury he picked up last month. And with Lucas Vazquez moving into a defensive role, Marco Asensio should get the nod on the right flank for Real Madrid against Athletic Bilbao. On the opposite wing, Eden Hazard should feature once again as he looks to reignite his career after a spate of injuries.

Karim Benzema will be the undisputed choice to lead the attack for Real Madrid from the centre-forward position, with the likes of Mariano Diaz and Vinicius Junior offering attacking options from the bench.

Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Hazard

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