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Real Madrid will look to keep the pressure on Barcelona in the La Liga title race when they take on Sevilla this weekend at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Los Blancos come into the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 win over Granada followed by a successful qualification to the finals of the UEFA Champions League despite losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the semi-finals.
Zinedine Zidane’s men sit 2nd in the standings, despite being level on points with the Catalans, owing to a poor head-to-head record. But they do have a game in hand and will want to keep in touch with Barcelona at the top with a win against Jorge Sampaoli’s men, who have beaten Real in their previous league encounter.
Defender Pepe may be in line for a return to the starting XI, after having returned to full fitness last weekend. Gareth Bale still remains a doubt while Dani Carvajal has been ruled out for the season.
Despite playing a big game in the midweek, Zidane is expected to field a full-strength squad against a strong opponent as he will not want to lose his way in the La Liga race.
The Costa Rican had a good game in the midweek, where he made some great saves late in the game to keep Atletico at bay. A similar performance will be needed on Sunday.
With Dani Carvajal ruled out and Danilo’s struggles in the Champions League semi-finals, expect Zidane to start with Nacho at right-back.
The Portuguese centre-half is fit again and may get a look in against Sevilla in place of Raphael Varane, who recently returned from an injury too.
The captain will take the second centre-half spot alongside Pepe. He will need to be at his sharpest against a dangerous Sevilla attack.
While Fabio Coentrao did have a good game last weekend against Granada, it is highly unlikely that he will get a start in a game of this magnitude, meaning Marcelo will play once again on Sunday.
The Brazilian is an important player for Madrid but can be a liability at times with his aggressive challenges and poor passes. Needs to stay disciplined in the middle of the park.
The Croatian has been one of the most pivotal players for Real Madrid. His importance for the Madrid side cannot be overstated. A definite starter in a crucial tie.
The third midfield spot will be taken by Toni Kroos. The German wasn’t at his fluent best on Wednesday night against Atletico but will have to step up on Sunday.
Madrid’s best player in the recent weeks, the Spaniard ran the show for Real Madrid against Atletico in the European contest. Will operate in a free role behind the centre-forwards.
The Portuguese has been operating as more of a centre-forward in recent months. As always, will want to get on the scoresheet.
May not be getting the goals, but showed on Wednesday as to how valuable he can be to the team . Will keep his spot up front.