REAL MADRID

Zidane has his preferred 11 for the rest of the season

The Real Madrid manager has defined his best eleven for the two greatest challenges that lie ahead: the quest for the Undécima and the assault on the Camp Nou.

Zidane has his preferred 11 for the rest of the season
JUAN MEDINA REUTERS

May 28 will see the Champions League final in the San Siro, Milan, where Zidane dreams of seeing his team. If los blancos make it that far, it would be the best possible outcome from a season that has promised little. 8 La Liga games and five Champions League matches await if that dream is to become a reality.

La Liga is gone, the fans accept that, but they want to see some pride restored in the Camp Nou, they want a morale-boosting Clásico win that can have a carry-over effect into the quest for the Undécima. The man from Marseilles has already has the profile of his top team:

Of the eleven that tore Sevilla apart on Sunday, only the defence will change. Pepe and Ramos will return to the starting line-up ahead of Varane and Nacho; Danilo also seems to have pulled himself up the pecking order above Carvajal. The Brazilian started in the Derby, against Roma in the Bernabéu and against Emery's team, evidence that he's gained Zidane's trust as we approach the moment of truth.

Casemiro + the BBC

Zidane has found the formula for the rest of the season; Casemiro and the BBC: Five matches five wins since Zidane drafted Casemiro into the starting line-up, the 24 year-old Brazilian has become indispensable. The blanco side has scored 18 and conceded just 3 during those 5 matches.

The midfield pivot is completed by Kroos and Modric, both attacking midfielders who flourish when allowed to shed defensive weight in the presence of Casemiro.

Up front it's the BBC, 80 goals between them this season, 15 for Bale, 24 for Benzema and 41 for Cristiano. Zidane is not prepared to negotiate - the BBC play. With that triptych of potency up front, beating Barça and winning the Undécima is not just a chimera.