Real Madrid have been able to go through their “week of hell” unscathed, but Zinedine Zidane has consistently made it clear that even though the team are doing well and still fighting for La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, they have not won anything yet. There is still a lot of work to be done as Los Merengues head to their next La Liga match to take on Getafe while missing a few players, especially in defense.
There is no reason to doubt that Thibaut Courtois will be in goal once again. The Belgian has continued to impress against Liverpool and Barcelona and he’ll want to stay on his A-Game as they continue to find ways to cope through an extremely packed schedule which sees Real Madrid play almost every three days for the next few weeks.
Things will get extremely tricky for Real Madrid here. Before their ‘hell week’, Sergio Ramos got injured then tested positive for Covid-19 while Raphael Varane will also be missing the match due to his own positive Covid-19 test. Therefore, Real Madrid got things done marvelously with Nacho Fernandez and Eder Militao but due to suspension, we won’t be seeing Nacho start. This means that we’ll have to witness a very changed lineup on the night, and it remains to be seen what Zidane has in store.
Alvaro Odriozola is expected to make a rare start at right-back as he’ll need to impress the manager who clearly doesn’t trust him very much at the moment. Eder Militao will start in the center for the fourth consecutive match but he will be in unfamiliar territory regardless of how Zidane plans to line things up. Right now, all signs point to a surprise start for Real Madrid Castilla player Victor Chust who will take this chance with open arms. He has already played for Los Blancos this season and we could see him on the pitch once again. The left-back position will be taken over by Ferland Mendy as Zidane will possibly want to make as few changes as possible.
Another problem arises here for the manager with our only defensive midfielder Carlos Casemiro out through suspension after receiving a red card against Barcelona. Federico Valverde will be expected to take his place on the night as he should be fully fit this time. In front of him, we’ll see Toni Kroos and Luka Modric aim to give us some familiarity, but don’t expect them to be on the pitch for the full 90 minutes as they need some rest as well.
All signs point to the return of Eden Hazard to the squad list but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be starting. It’s clear that Real Madrid are taking things extremely slow with the Belgian to avoid yet another injury absence as their main priority is not for him to only get back to playing again but also to be at his best, which we have not seen since his arrival from Chelsea.
Vinicius Junior will be on the left flank as he’ll possibly be replaced by Hazard at some point during the second half, while Marco Asensio will take his place on the opposite side. This is a good time for Rodrygo Goes to be given a start but as mentioned earlier, I don’t see the manager making more changes than he has to at the moment. Up front, Karim Benzema will be starting and he’ll aim to get on the score sheet as early as possible.
Full Predicted Lineup
Thibaut Courtois, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Victor Chust, Ferland Mendy, Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema