Sergio Ramos misses out yet again but Marco Asensio and Antonio Blanco should start when Real Madrid play hosts to CA Osasuna in La Liga this weekend.
Real Madrid will be hoping to stay in touch with leaders Atletico Madrid in the La Liga title race when they lock horns with CA Osasuna at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Saturday night.
Heading into the game, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has been treated with more bad news on the injury front as Dani Carvajal, who had only recently returned to action, has been ruled out for the rest of the season. In addition to the right-back, the likes of Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy and Federico Valverde all remain sidelined.
There has been a boost in the form of Sergio Ramos’s return to training over the week, as confirmed by Zidane in his pre-match press conference. “He’s back training with us and that’s great news,” the Frenchman said. However, the Real Madrid captain has been excluded from the squad named for the game against Osasuna, perhaps keeping an eye on the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg clash against Chelsea next week.
With that game in mind, Zidane might opt to rest his regulars, although no such liberties will be provided in defence, where Eder Militao and Raphael Varane set to start as the two centre-backs flanked by Alvaro Odriozola and Nacho as the full-backs. Marcelo, who endured a horror outing against Chelsea last time out misses out. Thibaut Courtois, meanwhile, is the undisputed starter in goal.
Midfield is where rotation is likely to take place given as both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have recently returned from short spells on the sidelines and looked a bit tired in the midweek clash. The duo could be given a breather on Saturday against Osasuna to keep them fresh for the Chelsea clash.
In their stead, Isco and academy graduate Antonio Blanco could step in the starting XI to complement Casemiro in the centre of the park for Real Madrid against Osasuna.
Moving into the attacking third, Karim Benzema has to be a certain starter given the form that he has been in. The Frenchman ought to continue as the centre-forward for Real Madrid, but we could see changes on either side of him, with Rodrygo Goes and Marco Asensio likely to get starting opportunities after featuring from the bench in midweek. Eden Hazard is also an option that Zidane might look at for the game against Osasuna.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Odriozola, Militao, Varane, Nacho; Blanco, Casemiro, Isco; Rodrygo, Benzema, Asensio