Real Madrid will have to do without several key players this weekend as they face a difficult trip away to an in-form Villarreal outfit on Saturday. Zinedine Zidane will not be able to rely on most of his squad heavyweights and will have to dig deep into his resource pool to field a competitive eleven in this fixture.
Real Madrid are likely to face a centre-back crisis against Villarreal with both Raphael Varane and captain Sergio Ramos picking up injuries during the international break. Eder Militao has tested positive for the coronavirus and has also been ruled out of this fixture.
Real Madrid plan makeshift defence as Casemiro and Carvajal return to the fold
Zidane does have a few positives to consider as Casemiro, Dani Carvajal, Nacho, and Alvaro Odriozola have returned to the fold for Real Madrid. With several defenders ruled out of the Villarreal clash, Real Madrid will have to rely on their squad depth to bail them out of a tricky situation.
Real Madrid also have a few concerns in their midfield with Federico Valverde ruled out of the next three weeks. Los Blancos have a difficult set of fixtures over the next month in La Liga and the Champions League and cannot afford to lose any more players to injuries and suspensions this month.
Zinedine Zidane does have a large squad and Toni Kroos is likely to reunite with veteran midfielder Luka Modric against Villarreal this week. Real Madrid suffered a heavy defeat against Valencia earlier this month and have several issues to address in their squad.
Eden Hazard tested positive for the coronavirus before the Valencia game and has been in quarantine for the past few days. The Real Madrid forward is yet to return a negative test and is unlikely to play a part against Villarreal. Luka Jovic also returned a positive rest earlier today and has been ruled out of this game.
Karim Benzema has been exceptional for Real Madrid over the past year and is arguably the most important member of the squad. The French talisman picked up a groin injury against Valencia before the international break, however, and remains a doubt for this weekend's clash.
Real Madrid are currently in fourth place in the La Liga standings and face difficult tests against Villarreal, Inter Milan, and Shakhtar Donetsk over the next two weeks.
Los Blancos have an excellent blend of youth and experience at the moment and will need all the resources at their disposal to eke out positive results in Spain and in Europe.
Published 20 Nov 2020, 17:19 IST