Real Madrid vs Osasuna: How will the Los Blancos line up? | La Liga 2019/20
- With injuries piling up, can Zidane conjure a winning formula against Osasuna, with one eye also on the Madrid Derby?
Real Madrid capped off a gruelling week with an important victory at Sevilla, following a 3-2 win against Levante and a devastating and inconsolable defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Zinedine Zidane fielded the same players against Sevilla that faced PSG bar Éder Militão, who was replaced by captain, Sergio Ramos.
Madrid's injury list already included Marcelo, Luka Modrić, Isco, and Marco Asensio and to add to their woes, French left-back, Ferland Mendy joined that list recently with a groin injury, which has now seen the Los Blancos suffer 65 injuries in the last 13 months, averaging 5 injuries per month.
Given that Madrid have run out of natural replacements at left-back, Nacho in all likelihood, will start against Osasuna. He isn't unfamiliar with the position though as Zidane has previously used the versatile Spaniard across the back-line.
Thus, keeping in mind their exceedingly long injury list, here is how Real Madrid could line-up against Osasuna:
Probable line-up: Thibaut Courtois, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militão, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Lucas Vázquez, Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos, Vinícius Jr, Luka Jović, Karim Benzema
Zidane will most likely start Courtois between the sticks, who managed to keep a clean sheet against Sevilla courtesy a stellar defensive performance.
Although Carvajal and Varane have been included in the squad, they are likely to be rested as Zidane would want to keep his troops fresh for what would be an intense affair with city rivals Atlético Madrid at the weekend.
Therefore, owing to a few rotations, Zidane might field a usual four-man defence with Odriozola slotting in at right-back. Captain Ramos could be partnered by summer signing, Militão at the heart of the defence with Nacho occupying the left side.
Given the lack of options in midfield, Zidane would most likely go with two central midfielders in Kroos and Valverde with Casemiro being accorded a rest heading into the El Derbi Madrileño.
The aforementioned duo in central midfield would be flanked by Vázquez on the right, with Vinícius Jr. starting on the opposite flank.
While the Brazilian would make marauding runs down the left-hand side and unsettle the defence with his pace, Vázquez would be a workhorse on the pitch and would help the team defend in transition while contributing to the attack.
Up top, Benzema will be expected to lead the attack. The Frenchman has been in terrific form this season and has already scored 5 goals in as many matches.
Serbian striker Jović, who is yet to score the first goal of his Madrid career, would add some punch to the Real Madrid forward-line as he could use his strength, ball control, and heading ability to unlock the Osasuna defence.
Rodrygo could also feature at some point in the second half as a substitute, thereby making his first-team debut for Los Blancos.Published 25 Sep 2019, 19:59 IST