Real Madrid are about to enter the most crucial part of the season, having managed to recover from a poor start to the current campaign. The Blancos are back in the race for the La Liga title and have also qualified for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they will face Liverpool.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s side must first focus on the home game against Eibar on Saturday. Real Madrid are favourites coming into the game and have not tasted defeat in their last 10 matches in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Eibar are languishing in the relegation zone, having failed to win any of their last 11 games in the La Liga. On paper, it looks like an easy fixture for Real Madrid, but the Blancos will be without several first-team players for the game.
Real Madrid have an injury-ravaged squad
Real Madrid do not have a big squad and their problems have been compounded by the injuries suffered by key players.
The club will be without as many as five first-team players when they face Eibar on Saturday. Eden Hazard, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde and Dani Carvajal have all been ruled out for the game. Skipper Sergio Ramos will also not feature in the against Eibar after picking up an injury while on international duty with Spain.
At his pre-match press conference, Zidane was unsure about when Ramos would return but hoped it will be sooner rather than later.
"These are things that happen in football; the part of football that we don't like. We have to accept it,” the Real Madrid boss said, as quoted by Marca.
"We want him to recover as soon as possible. We know the captain and the player he is. He has hurt himself a little bit and I hope he recovers soon. We want Sergio to always be with us, but now we have to think about the players who are going to be with us," Zidane added.
Losing against Eibar and Liverpool will be detrimental to the Blancos’ domestic and European ambitions and the coming weeks will be crucial to Real Madrid’s season. Injuries are threatening to derail what looked like a promising campaign for Zidane’s side and it remains to be seen how the team will cope without key players against Eibar and Liverpool.