Real Madrid will be without two key players as they travel north to Barcelona to face their rivals this weekend. In what has to be the least anticipated El Clasico in recent memory, Zinedine Zidane will have several important lineup choices to make with Isco and Raphael Varane injured.
With the La Liga title already in the hands of the Blaugrana, Los Blancos are in a weird place heading into the second El Clasico of the 2017/2018 campaign. After falling to Barca 3-0 at home in December, the only motivation for Zizou and his side is pride and revenge.
FC Barcelona has grabbed control of Spain from Real Madrid by winning the league title and the Copa Del Rey. The side from the Spanish capital, on the other hand, can finish as high as second in the league table.
However, with their third straight Champions League Final looming in just three weeks, the manager might elect to rotate his players in order to not pick up any more injuries.
Dani Carvajal remains out of action due to the hamstring injury he picked up in Munich just over a week ago. Isco also remains on the mend having missed the match against Leganés and the semifinal second-leg as well.
While Isco is listed as questionable ahead of the Clasico, center back Raphael Varane is expected to miss the contest with a calf injury sustained Tuesday against Bayern.
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Isco has been training away from the group for the last week, but was seen on the training pitch for the 30-minute media session Thursday afternoon.
Rafa Varane was not at the Veldabebas for training leading Jesús Vallejo to receive more time training with the regular first-team players. While the match Sunday may hold no significance in the league race, bragging rights are on the line.
Real Madrid defeated Barca in both legs of the Super Copa de España in August, but will try to avoid losing both league meetings between the two giants of Spanish football. While Barca may have won the domestic league and cup, they bowed out of the Champions League (yet again) to an Italian side in the quarterfinal.
Zidane to consult with the players on whether to rest them or play el Clásico. Modric, Kroos, Marcelo and Varane are favorites to take a break, leaving Ramos and Cristiano as a last minute decision. [abc]
— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) May 3, 2018
I am very curious to see what Zidane decides to do with his squad for the match this weekend. While the UCL Final is 23 days away, he will be wary of the injuries some of his key players have picked up in the last couple weeks.
He is going to need all hands on deck to slow down the potent attack of Liverpool in Ukraine on May 26th, which could mean we see several regular starters rested for the second La Liga edition of El Clasico.