Zinedine Zidane has opted to leave out a number of first-team regulars from the squad for Real Madrid’s La Liga encounter against Huesca this weekend.
Real Madrid will be aiming to pick up their second victory under Zinedine Zidane, when they welcome bottom feeders SD Huesca to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night.
Following Zidane’s reappointment as the manager earlier this month, Real Madrid made a winning start to the Frenchman’s second stint as they beat Celta Vigo 2-0 before the international break. And, they will be hoping to pick up another win on Sunday and stay in touch with second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Ahead of the game, Zidane has sprung a bit of a surprise by opting to omit some senior players from the matchday squad. Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Raphael Varane have all been excluded from the 19-man squad named by the manager.
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Thibaut Courtois, who had been dropped from the team upon Zidane’s return, has been ruled out of the contest with an injury. Speaking of the Belgian, the manager said in his pre-match presser that the Belgian is sidelined with a muscular problem.
“He’s got a problem with his right rectus femoris, there’s some discomfort there and we’ll have a look at it now. He played for his national team and I think that he’ll be out for just a few days, but he won’t be available for tomorrow.”
Keylor Navas will continue to feature between the sticks for Madrid, with Zidane’s son Luca set to take Courtois’ place on the bench. Dani Carvajal remains sidelined for the Merengues, meaning Alvaro Odriozola should continue at right-back, while Zidane might look to give Sergio Reguilon a chance at left-back ahead of Marcelo.
With Varane not getting picked in the squad, utility man Nacho is set to step into the starting XI at the heart of the Real Madrid defence, alongside captain Sergio Ramos.
There has been a boost for Real Madrid in the midfield department with Marcos Llorente fit again and returning to the 19-man squad. However, the Spaniard is unlikely to feature from the start on Sunday, with Casemiro set to continue at the base of Los Blancos’ midfield.
With no Modric or Kroos in the squad, the young duo of Dani Ceballos and Federico Valverde should get a run-out from the start against the bottom side. Isco will continue to operate in the attacking midfield slot after making a goal-scoring return to the team in Zidane’s first game in-charge against Celta Vigo.
Vinicius Junior continues to remain an injury-enforced absentee for Real Madrid, but Lucas Vazquez is back into the squad. The likes of Mariano Diaz and Brahim Diaz will be hopeful of getting some minutes on the night, but are unlikely to start, with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale expected to keep hold of their spots in the lineup.