Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio will return while Miguel Gutierrez is set for his full debut when Real Madrid take on Granada on Thursday.
Real Madrid will be desperate to keep pace with Atletico Madrid in the La Liga title race when they lock horns with Granada at Los Carmenes on Thursday night. And, Zinedine Zidane’s injury woes have only worsened over the weekend.
Defence poses a great deal of concern for the Real Madrid, who has just three senior defenders at his disposal. As a result, young Miguel Gutierrez has been called up to the travelling squad again, with the likes of Ferland Mendy, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Lucas Vazquez on the sidelines.
During his pre-match press conference, Zidane commented on the importance of the Real Madrid Castilla side at times like these. He said, “The first team is always important, but Castilla are also important to us. They’ve got a lot to play for, but if we need players we’ll call on the second team. That’s good for everyone. I get on well with Raúl and we are in constant communication when deciding things.”
Gutierrez will indeed make his full debut for the first-team on Thursday, starting on the left side of the Real Madrid defence, with Alvaro Odriozola, who is fit and available after having picked up a knock this past weekend, taking his place on the right flank. Eder Militao and Nacho will continue as the central defensive partnership, with Thibaut Courtois a certainty in goal.
Up ahead in midfield, Luka Modric could be given a rest after looking a little leggy versus Sevilla. Taking his place in the middle of the park, should be Federico Valverde, who drops down to midfield after starting in an advanced role on the weekend. As for the other two spots, there is no looking past Toni Kroos and Casemiro.
Finally, in attack, Karim Benzema’s place is unquestionable. The Frenchman will lead the line for Real Madrid against Granada, but should have two new wingers flanking him, with Vinicius Jr. making way. Marco Asensio made a definitive impact off the bench against Sevilla and should be recalled. The same goes for Eden Hazard, who will likely take his place on the left wing.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Odriozola, Militao, Nacho, Gutierrez; Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Hazard