Why Luka Modric, Toni Kroos must rest against Osasuna

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid looked worn out on Tuesday night. They drew Chelsea 1-1 in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals, but it was a tough battle for Los Blancos. And aside from the absences of Ferland Mendy, Sergio Ramos, and Fede Valverde, not having Toni Kroos and Luka Modric at 100 percent clearly hindered the team.

Modric and Kroos both played the full 90 minutes. While Kroos eventually played well in the second half and made an impact defensively, Modric honestly didn’t have his best game. He could not even run properly, that’s how tired he was! Kroos, for his part, could not move much either, especially not in the first half. He has been slowed by an injury as well.

Both midfielders have given their all this season. Their individual quality as passers and intensity in every game have helped ensure Real Madrid would get to this point in the Champions League semifinals and La Liga title race.

It is time for them to get some more, well-deserved rest.

Real Madrid can beat Osasuna without Luka Modric and Toni Kroos

Real Madrid will face a disappointing Osasuna side this weekend at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. Los Blancos won’t want to underestimate Osasuna, considering they drew 0-0 at El Sadar earlier this year. But Real should be able to beat them at home, even without Modric and Kroos.

Last week’s big 3-0 win over Cadiz should give Madridistas hope. Modric and Kroos did not play at all in that game, yet Los Blancos still dominated a team they lost to earlier this season. Antonio Blanco was the start of the show, as the young prospect shined in his first start, having impressed the previous weekend against Getafe.

Blanco should be ready to start for a second time on Saturday night vs. Osasuna. His emergence gives Zinedine Zidane the flexibility he needs to rest Kroos and Modric. Plus, Fede Valverde could be back after missing the last couple of matches due to a positive COVID-19 test.

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Modric and Kroos are needed at 100 percent against Chelsea next week at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are back among Europe’s elite squads, and they have a great midfield in their own right. Real Madrid’s midfield duo are vital to the team’s success in the Champions League. Let the others step up against Osasuna and allow Modric and Kroos to rest before giving their all against Chelsea in the must-win second leg next Wednesday night in London. That should be the clear solution.