Real Madrid made the trip to Villarreal on Matchday 10 of La Liga Santander. Zidane would be seeking to return home with all the three points up for grabs in his bag considering that Barcelona and Atletico are scheduled to lock horns on the same weekend.
The Whites were on the receiving end of a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Valencia prior to the commencement of the International Break. Zidane would be wanting to return to winning ways at the earliest but Villarreal will be no easy opponents. The Yellow Submarines have amassed 18 points from nine games this season and are currently placed second in the points table.
The Real Madrid medical team is currently overbooked with as many as five players at the sickbay. Federico Valverde and Sergio Ramos have been the latest additions to the list which already boasts of Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Odriozola.
Here’s how Los Blancos could take to the field against Villarreal –
Thibaut Courtois will be taking charge in goal following the International break. The Belgian will be aided by a makeshift backline in the absence of several prominent stars. Lucas Vasquez will be starting at the right-back slot with a dearth of defensive options available for Zidane.
Varane and Eder Militao will be partnering in the heart of Real’s backline. The absence of Sergio Ramos will be severely felt by Zidane & Co. The Captain has strained his right hamstring while on duty for the Spanish National team. Ferland Mendy is expected to start in this fixture against Villarreal ahead of Marcelo.
Luka Modric will start alongside Toni Kroos in midfield. The charismatic duo will be instrumental to Zidane’s plans at the Ceramica Stadium. Martin Odegaard could be handed out a rare start in the starting eleven ahead of Casemiro. The ex-Real Sociedad wizard has been a great revelation this season and will be a key member of this Real Madrid side in the years to come. Casemiro has not been training regularly after testing positive for the deadly virus. This midfield in the absence of Casemiro might lack chemistry but it certainly has the capability to deliver on the biggest of occasions.
Marco Asensio will be starting at the right-wing position after a good run of games prior to the international break. The Spaniard has seemingly found his rhythm after nearly missing out the entire season last time around. The number 9 position seemed to be a worry for the Whites at the beginning of the season, however, Karim Benzema has been in fine goalscoring form off late. The French striker will have to take to the field at Villarreal with his shooting boots on.
Vinicius Jr is expected to get the nod for this crucial tie ahead of Hazard. The Belgian had tested positive for the Coronavirus alongside Casemiro and might not be having the legs to play the entire ninety minutes in this crunch fixture. This will be a huge opportunity for the Brazilian attacker Vinicius, who has struggled to find himself in the starting eleven in the past couple of weeks.
Predicted Starting Eleven
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