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Zidane drops Courtois, picks Isco and Bale

16 Mar 2019, 20:05 IST
Thibaut Courtois - cropped
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Zinedine Zidane has recalled Gareth Bale and Isco while dropping Thibaut Courtois for his first match since returning as Real Madrid's head coach.

Zidane's second spell starts at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday with their hopes of chasing down Barcelona and winning the LaLiga title highly remote, Los Blancos 12 points adrift.

Isco was an outcast under Santiago Solari, failing to start a single LaLiga game, but is back in the line-up alongside Bale, who reportedly had a frosty relationship with Zidane in his first period in charge.

Zidane has also made a big call in goal, with Courtois dropping to the bench after a 4-1 comeback win at Real Valladolid last week and Costa Rica international Keylor Navas recalled.

The Frenchman led Madrid to three consecutive Champions League titles before surprising the football world by handing in his resignation.

Both Solari and Zidane's replacement Julen Lopetegui struggled to get to grips with Madrid's high expectations and lasted only short periods before being sacked.

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