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La Liga champions Real Madrid will look to cut down the gap at the top of the La Liga table when they face off against Sevilla this weekend at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are currently seated 4th in the league table after a disappointing start to the ongoing campaign, 8 points behind leaders Barcelona already. The manager will be hoping to avoid any more mishaps in the league, especially knowing that his side are at the risk of being blown out of the title contention this early into the season.
Los Blancos come into the game on the back of a 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League and will hope to carry on in the same vein on Saturday.
There are a number of defensive injury concerns for Zidane to worry about as Raphael Varane will be unavailable for selection due to an injury he picked up during the midweek game, while captain Sergio Ramos is suspended following his sending off in the previous league game against Athletic Bilbao. Dani Carvajal and Casemiro too have been ruled out due to suspensions for yellow card accumulation.
Winger Gareth Bale is also a major injury doubt for the Spanish capital club, but there was a positive for the club in the form of the return of Marco Asensio from injury during the midweek.
The Costa Rican international is the first-choice goalie for the Spanish champions ahead of Kiko Casilla and he will start the game between the sticks.
With Dani Carvajal out due to suspension, youngster Achraf Hakimi is likely to get the nod at right-back against Sevilla.
The versatile Spaniard is Madrid’s utility man and is capable of filling any void in the backline. With Varane ruled out, he should start as a centre-back.
Partnering Nacho in the heart of the defence, owing to Sergio Ramos’ absence, will be another academy product Jesus Vallejo.
At left-back, Brazilian international Marcelo should return to the playing XI after having been rested for the midweek game in favour of Theo Hernandez.
The former Inter Milan man has been very good each time he has been afforded game time. Should get another start on Saturday.
With Casemiro unavailable, we might see Zidane use Luka Modric in a more of a restrained role in the middle of the park.
Completing the central midfield trio for the Galacticos should be German international Toni Kroos. Will have to shoulder the creative responsibilities.
The Spaniard hasn’t been hitting the early season form of late, but will want to put up a strong showing against Sevilla.
The youngster has been in good goal-scoring form of late and purely based on performances, he deserves to start ahead of Karim Benzema.
His rut in the La Liga continues to be an issue for the champions, but knowing his ability, he can turn any match on its head and Zidane will be hoping that will be the case on Saturday.