Real Madrid must do without Karim Benzema for Saturday’s trip in La Liga to face Villarreal.
Benzema has missed Real Madrid’s last two fixtures because of injury and will sit out a third at the weekend. However, Carlo Ancelotti has indicated that the France international star will be fit for Tuesday’s trip to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
The former Lyon striker has 24 goals for the season and has been a key figure for Madrid as they have established a six-point lead over Sevilla ahead of the 24th round of matches in Spain’s top flight.
With Mariano Diaz on the sidelines and Luka Jovic thoroughly out of favour, Isco could be presented with the opportunity to start as the nominal centre forward on Saturday.
Vini Jr is expected to have a major role to play offensively on the left wing due to Benzema’s absence.
There has been positive movement on the selection front, however. Both Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro have recovered from the illness that kept them out against Granada in the previous game. The Brazilian will, of course, slot in beside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the midfield.
Aside from Benzema, Real Madrid’s chief absentee will be left-back Ferland Mendy. The Frenchman will be replaced by the vastly experienced figure of Marcelo.
Is it not expected that Real Madrid will indulge in any rotation prior to their midweek trip to Parc des Prince, with their strongest XI expected to be on display in this game.
Villarreal, meanwhile, have been dealt a major blow because of the ongoing absence of striker Gerard Moreno after suffering an injury against Real Betis last weekend. Paco Alcacer, formerly of Barcelona, will step up in the absence of their key attacker.