Real Madrid will travel to Pamplona on Sunday to face Osasuna in La Liga, but they will have to do so without one of their attacking midfielders.
James Rodriguez is no longer a regular starter in the Real Madrid lineup, but he was a key player in September and had recently gotten back into Zinedine Zidane‘s rotation after recovering from a troublesome knee injury.
Unfortunately for the Colombian playmaker, he suffered yet another injury in Thursday’s loss to Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. James had to be substituted for veteran midfielder Luka Modric.
According to a report from Mario de la Riva of AS, James will miss Sunday’s game, which kicks off at 16:00 CET, due to this hip injury. He did not train with his teammates on Friday or Saturday, which means he will be absent.
Real Madrid have a decision to make with two more big-name attacking players in Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale. Both players have trained with the team consistently and should be healthy, with Hazard expected to return soon. But since Vinicius Junior has played so well lately, there’s no need to rush Hazard. So Real Madrid could keep resting the Belgian and start Vini.
Meanwhile, Bale doesn’t seem to be suffering from an injury, but Zidane has been keeping him out of the lineup. Bale can still be useful to Los Blancos, but he’s been in such poor form lately that both Rodrygo and Lucas Vazquez look like better options. Vazquez should get the start on Sunday against Osasuna, though Rodrygo did score his wonderful La Liga debut goal against them in September.
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As for James, hopefully he can return from his hip injury soon. It’s tough to see how many injuries the attacking midfielder deals with, because he clearly has the quality to help Real Madrid in La Liga for the remainder of the season. Isco, who seems to be Zidane’s preferred option despite a few disappointing outings in 2020, will probably get the start, though Toni Kroos and Modric are more than capable of shining as a No. 10 in the system.