Luka Modric is set to miss out when Real Madrid take on Levante on Saturday, with Isco most likely to step in.
Real Madrid travel to Estadio Ciudad de Valencia on Sunday as they lock horns with Levante. Sealing all three points could be important for the Spanish giants in their quest to put early pressure on rivals Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Unfortunately, Los Blancos have been dealt with a blow this week as key player Luka Modric picked up a knock. The veteran Croat has been ruled out for this clash, leaving the team without two of their main midfielders in him and Toni Kroos.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the injuries during his pre-match press conference, stating, “Both cases are different. Modrić has a minor injury he got in training. I don’t know if he’ll be able to play against Betis, but we’ll see. I think Kroos will be ready after the international break.”
The absence of Modric should pave the way for Isco to start in the attacking midfield position. “Isco is really motivated and he wants to show his quality. If Isco is ready, he’ll play. He might play or he might not, but he’s got all the attributes to do so. I haven’t been here in the last few years, but he’s training well,” said Ancelotti when asked about the Spaniard’s involvement in the game.
Isco will be tasked with the responsibility of providing the additional creative support for the attack, alongside Federico Valverde, whereas Casemiro should retain his place as the main deep sitting midfielder. The Brazilian’s presence is critical to protecting the Real Madrid backline.
Speaking of which, there have been positive news in the defensive department for Real Madrid. “Carvajal will be back tomorrow and he’s an essential player for the team and I’m delighted he’s back,” confirmed Ancelotti during the press conference.
Carvajal’s return will serve as a massive boost for the Real Madrid manager, although Lucas Vazquez may continue to operate at right-back against Levante. The same can be said for David Alaba, who is filling in for the injured Marcelo and Ferland Mendy at left-back.
Alaba occupying the full-back slot, though, should force Ancelotti to continue with the central defensive pairing of Nacho Fernandez and Eder Militao. Thibaut Courtois is another surefire starter in between the sticks.
Things get more interesting in the attacking department. Heading into this game, Ancelotti has lauded Eden Hazard for his performances and offered positive update on his fitness.
“I think Hazard has done well. He’s not at full fitness yet, but he’s close. He’s worked extremely hard in every training session. I don’t think he’s a player who’s afraid to go into a tackle, but someone who wants to show his quality,” he said.
The Belgian, therefore, remains a guaranteed starter out wide, alongside Gareth Bale as the two look to provide the supply for lone forward Karim Benzema this weekend.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Nacho, Militao, Alaba; Valverde, Casemiro, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Hazard