Zidane left to solve yet another Real Madrid puzzle

Real Madrid have a minor injury crisis on their hands, as well as certain players not living up to expectations, meaning that their head coach Zinedine Zidane has a rather strong selection headache.

Los Blancos are left without the possibility of fielding first-choice full-backs against Celta Vigo, with Dani Carvajal out injured and Marcelo limping off on the weekend, meaning that Castilla options have become the more viable choices.

Alvaro Tejero and Enzo Zidane have already been given opportunities to step up into the first-team, as Marcelo, Carvajal and Luka Modric join long-term absentees Pepe and Gareth Bale on the treatment table.

In addition, Danilo and Cristiano Ronaldo are struggling in terms of hitting form, James is a doubt, and Fabio Coentrao is similarly struggling to get into the first-team picture.

Thus, here are the options that Zidane has available.


Danilo, Varane, Ramos Nacho: This is the most realistic option, despite the Brazilian not being called upon at right-back after the injury to Carvajal. Nacho would take Marcelo’s place at left-back.

Lucas, Varane, Ramos, Nacho: Lucas Vazquez dropped to right-back after an injury to Marcelo against Malaga, with Nacho swapping flanks. This could be used once more.

Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Tejero: Zidane doesn’t like to ignore Castilla players. Picking Tejero at left-back would allow for Real Madrid to continue with Nacho at right-back, or Ramos could feature at right-back with Nacho tucking infield.

Ramos, Varane, Nacho: Los Blancos could turn back to using three central defenders and two wingers, which would likely by Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio.


Kroos, Casemiro, Kovacic. Without Modric, his compatriot is the natural replacement, and this is the most plausible choice.

Kroos, Casemiro, Isco: Due to James probably sitting out, there aren’t many more options in midfield for Zidane. Isco could be the third central midfielder, along with the untouchable Kroos and Casemiro.


Lucas Vázquez, Benzema, Cristiano: This is the front three that started against Malaga, and should be the go-to choice.

Isco, Benzema, Cristiano: If Vazquez drops to right-back, Zidane could use Isco on the right-hand side of the attack.

Vazquez, Benzema, Asensio: Asensio should be the first man to be recalled if Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t picked. He deserves more minutes.

Lucas Vázquez, Benzema, Morata: This is a less likely line-up. Zidane doesn’t often use two strikers up top centrally together, but he needs to fight back against Celta and score goals.

Isco, Benzema, Asensio: This is the other trident available without Ronaldo. The latter midfielder is available after injury and got some minutes against Malaga.


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