Zinedine Zidane is expected to ring in the changes to his team as the newly-crowned champions travel to Estadio Municipal de Butarque to face Leganes.
Real Madrid return to action for the first time after being crowned the champions of La Liga and will lock horns with relegation-battling Leganes at Estadio Municipal de Butarque. Zinedine Zidane, however, revealed that he has no intention of starting the second string team.
“We’re going to end the season in the best possible manner. We want to do things properly and stick together right until the end. We’re going to rest up, but the season isn’t over yet. We’re going to be back soon and focus because we’ve got a crucial game against Manchester City in August,” Zidane said in his pre-game press conference.
That said, Zidane has dropped Eden Hazard from the squad list to avoid fatigue. Gareth Bale will not travel either due to personal reasons. Marcelo remains injured and is expected to miss out on the clash against Manchester City as well. The Real Madrid boss, though, is boosted by the return of Nacho Fernandez and Mariano Diaz.
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Karim Benzema scored twice against Villarreal in their 2-1 win and is just two goals adrift of Lionel Messi, who currently leads the Pichichi race with 23. However, we expect the Frenchman to be rested, so he is fresh for their Champions League encounter, despite what Zidane said.
“Of course, I’d like Karim to be crowned Pichichi. We’ve got a game tomorrow, and I’m not going to tell you who’ll play. Benzema is a player who’s done well and deserves to win the LaLiga Pichichi Trophy.”
Luka Jovic is expected to lead the line for the newly-crowned champions and he will be aided by Rodrygo Goes on the right wing and Marco Asensio on the left wing. Isco is touted to play off Jovic in the attacking midfield role in a 4-2-3-1, with Asensio and Rodrygo flanking the Spaniard.
Casemiro and Federico Valverde are expected to assume responsibility in the centre of the park as the double pivot that will screen Real Madrid’s four-man backline. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are in contention as well, but are likely to see the game out from the bench.
Nacho will return to the starting XI in the league for the first time since late January and he will be the right-back over Dani Carvajal. Ferland Mendy is expected to retain his spot on the opposite flank. Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane will pair up at the heart of the Real Madrid defence and will shield the in-form Thibaut Courtois, who will look to add to his incredible 18 clean sheets this term.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro; Rodrygo, Isco, Asensio; Jovic