Dani Carvajal & Lucas Vazquez are back in contention when Real Madrid lock horns with Valencia on Sunday.
Real Madrid could brace themselves for a stern test ahead as they welcome Valencia at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Sunday. It is a must-win game for the home side, especially with Barcelona breathing down their necks.
However, manager Zinedine Zidane will have to appear cautious with his team selection due to an injury crisis that has already ruled out the likes of Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Marcelo and Federico Valverde among many others.
On a brighter side of things, however, the Frenchman has confirmed the return of two key players in Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal heading into this clash. Both have been included in the 19-man squad that faces Valencia this weekend.
Speaking to the press during the pre-match press conference, Zidane stressed the importance of having his first-team players back in contention while also expressing his concern over the impact it may have on their seasonal objectives.
“Yes, I’m concerned about the injuries, it’s not down to bad luck. We really don’t like not having the players available. What we want is to try and get them back. We’ve got Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vázquez back for tomorrow and I hope that we’re gradually able to welcome them all back. I always want to have my players available to train with me because that’s really important for a coach”, said the Frenchman.
While it remains unlikely Carvajal will be rushed back into the starting eleven, Zidane could fancy deploying Vazquez in the right-back position while the rest of the defensive unit picks itself due to lack of available options. As such, Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez could continue to form the central defensive partnership, with Ferland Mendy operating as a left-back.
In midfield, Real Madrid are still missing Valverde so Zidane will once again have to rely on the proven trifecta of Toni Kross, Casemiro and Luka Modric, though he does have the option of deploying Isco if required.
No changes are expected in the offensive unit as well, with Zidane likely to persist with the attacking trio of Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio. The 48-year-old could call upon the services of Mariano Diaz as an alternative, but it is evident that Los Blancos desperately need to bolster their attacking options in the summer.
Interestingly, Zidane had opened up a bit on the situation surrounding Gareth Bale, stating “As a coach, I wish him all the best because he’s a Real Madrid player. I don’t know what’s going on there and I can’t comment on it. The only thing I hope is that it’s going well and that he gets on well, the same applies to all Real Madrid players”
The Real Madrid boss could have certainly welcomed the presence of the Welshman in this team right now as he desperately searches for consistency in the performances of Vinicius and Asensio this weekend.
Predicted Real Madrid lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Vazquez, Nacho, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Kr.