Karim Benzema has been ruled out while Lucas Vazquez is in line to replace the injured Dani Carvajal when Real Madrid take on Real Valladolid in La Liga.
Real Madrid will be aiming to pick up their fourth win on the bounce in La Liga when they lock horns with relegation battlers Real Valladolid at Estadio Jose Zorrilla on Saturday night.
Heading into the game, the injury issues are just not letting up for Los Blancos and Zinedine Zidane, with star striker Karim Benzema the latest casualty. “He won’t be with us in Valladolid because he’s feeling a bit of discomfort. It came up yesterday and we’ll see about next week,” Zidane said, speaking of his compatriot in his pre-match presser.
“It’s always a blow when the players pick up injuries but we know what a key man he is for us. He’s injured so we have to look at the guys who are ready and then try and get him back as soon as possible.” Benzema joins Dani Carvajal out on the sidelines, with the Spaniard picking up an injury on his return against Valencia last time out.
In addition, the likes of Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes, Eder Militao, Alvaro Odriozola and Marcelo are all ruled out as well, leaving Zidane with bare-bones to pick from on Saturday night.
There is no looking past Thibaut Courtois in the Real Madrid goal while Raphael Varane and Nacho pick themselves at the heart of the Merengues defence in Ramos’ absence. Ferland Mendy is the undisputed starter at left-back and that is unlikely to change either. There will be one change, however, in the backline, with Lucas Vazquez set to step in for the injured Carvajal.
Even though a big game against Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League awaits on the coming Wednesday, Zidane is likely to stick with his first-choice midfield trident of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, all of whom were top-notch in the win against Valencia last time out. Isco would be an option that the manager may look at.
There is little room for rotation in the attacking department as well for Zidane with Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior the only two senior wingers available at his disposal. The duo ought to start against Valladolid, flanking Mariano Diaz, who is the only senior centre-forward available for Real Madrid ahead of Saturday’s game.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Mariano Diaz, Vinicius Jr.