Predicted XI

Senior players to return after cup exit - How Real Madrid could line-up against Alaves

Zinedine Zidane made a raft of changes for Los Blancos' previous match, but the decision backfired spectacularly...

9:48am on Friday 22nd January 2021
Martin Macdonald

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is set to recall a number of senior players to his starting XI for Saturday's La Liga clash against Alaves.

During the week, the Frenchman suffered one of the worst defeats in his tenure as boss of the club as Madrid were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Segunda B side Alcoyano.

It was a disastrous result for Los Blancos, made worse by the fact that only a few days previously they were eliminated from the Spanish Super Cup at the semi-final stage by Athletic Bilbao, who would go on to defeat Barcelona in the final.

For the match in the Copa del Rey, Zidane made a raft of changes and brought in fringe players for an opportunity to impress in a game Real Madrid were expected to win comfortably.

The likes of Andriy Lunin, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Victor Chust, Marcelo, Federico Valverde, Isco, and Mario Diaz all started, with most of them with the exception of Valverde having been on the periphery of the team previously, while some youngsters were thrown in too.

Militao and Isco done okay, but it was disappointing from the rest.

The superstars are therefore set to return for La Liga action.

Thibaut Courtois, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard, and Karim Benzema will all likely start against Alaves.

Ramos missed the cup game altogether with a knock, but it is believed he should be fine to feature against Alaves.

Hazard is yet to find good form since returning from injury, but with Vinicius Junior failing to impress versus Alcoyano, Alaves should provide the opportunity for the Belgian to get firing again.

Lucas Vazquez starting the cup game in a more advanced role, but will probably drop back to right-back as Dani Carvajal remains a doubt.

Rodrygo is still injured, while Nacho is currently in self isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.

Real Madrid predicted XI against Alaaves

RM - Football tactics and formations

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