Zinedine Zidane is expected to make wholesale changes to his starting eleven when Real Madrid face Deportivo Alaves on Sunday.
Real Madrid are hoping to get back to winning ways as they travel to the Mendizorrotza on Sunday to face Deportivo Alaves. It will be an important game for Los Blancos, who are determined to avoid a mishap that would allow Barcelona to overtake them in the league table.
Unfortunately for the defending champions, head coach Zinedine Zidane will not be present on the touchline after contracting COVID-19. Assistant coach Davide Bettoni is set to replace him on the sidelines, although the Frenchman may have already picked up his ideal eleven for this upcoming game.
“I’m sad because Zidane won’t be with us. I spoke to him this morning, he’s feeling fine. He’s in good spirits. He won’t be with us in person but we know he’ll be supporting us. The important thing is that everyone knows he’ll be there in spirit. We’re just finalising how we’re going to do things,” Bettoni told the media in the pre-match press conference.
Real Madrid lost to Alcoyano in their most recent game that saw Zidane field a secondary team. One could expect him to revert those changes. However, the Spanish giants are missing a few players in defence, including Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal, both of whom have been left out of the squad.
“Sergio is still recovering and he won’t be with us tomorrow. Carvajal trained a bit with the group but he will miss out too tomorrow. He’ll be back training normally on Monday,” said Bettoni, when asked about their fitness heading into the game.
Eder Militao could, thus, retain his place in the side, in the absence of Ramos while the likes of Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vazquez are all expected to return to the defensive unit. Thibaut Courtois should also replace Andriy Lunin in between the sticks this weekend.
Further changes are expected in midfield, where Toni Kroos and Luka Modric should return to the side at the expense of Isco and Federico Valverde. The latter has been ruled out after picking up a knock. As for Casemiro, he could be one of only two players to retain his place in the starting lineup as the Brazilian looks to continue in holding midfield.
Finally, in attack, Real Madrid are set to recall the front three of Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema, with Mariano Diaz and Vinicius Junior serving as potential alternatives.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Hazard, Benzema, Asensio