Karim Benzema is back in contention while Rodrygo is in line to start when Real Madrid face off against local rivals Atletico Madrid in La Liga on Sunday.
Real Madrid will be hoping to return to winning ways an close the gap to the top of the table when they lock horns with neighbours and league leaders Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.
And heading into the game, manager Zinedine Zidane has been handed a major injury boost as star striker Karim Benzema is fit and available again after missing the last few matches. However, the likes of Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal remain out while Mariano Diaz is the latest casualty for Real Madrid.
Speaking of Benzema’s return, Zidane, in his pre-match presser, said, “He’ll be with us. We know just what a player he is and not just in terms of his goals. He’s an important player for us and as a striker, he’s important within our system, particularly when we’re in possession.”
Along with Benzema, defender Eder Militao is also back in contention and has been named in the 20-man squad by Zidane. However, given how well the centre-back duo of Raphael Varane and Nacho has done in recent games, they should once again start in the derby on Sunday, shielding Thibaut Courtois in goal.
Lucas Vazquez made a solid impression in Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad last time out and should once again get the nod at right-back in Carvajal’s absence while there is absolutely no looking past Ferland Mendy for the starting berth on the opposite flank.
Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos have been critical for Real Madrid during their injury-riddled phase in recent weeks, producing top-notch performances one after the other from the middle of the park. And given the importance of Sunday’s game, the trio starting is a no-brainer with Federico Valverde remaining an option on the bench.
Moving to the attacking unit, Benzema’s return should see him make his way back into the starting XI as well, slotting in as the lone centre-forward for Real Madrid against Atletico. Isco, who has enjoyed a couple of positive performances in the last two games is likely to feature again on the left-wing.
There could be an alteration on the right flank though, with Rodrygo Goes set to replace Marco Asensio who has looked quite off colour and ineffective in recent matches.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Isco