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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid to go into Super Cup without raft of key men

With five big players set to miss out and another a doubt, Real boss Zinedine Zidane heads into the clash with Sevilla with a selection poser.
Real Madrid-Deportivo: LaLiga matchday 20

Real Madrid to go into Super Cup without raft of key men

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane faces a selection headache ahead of the UEFA Super Cup on 9 August, with five key players to miss out and another a major doubt.

No CR7, Bale, Kroos, Pepe or Keylor

Zidane will be without Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Pepe and Keylor Navas - depriving the Real boss of half the team that started the Champions League final in May - while Karim Benzema could well join that list.

Bale and Kroos return to work on 6 August and, with just three days between then and Los Blancos' clash with Europa League winners Sevilla in Trondheim, it looks impossible for the pair to be in physical shape to take on the Andalusians.

Portuguese defender Pepe is back on 10 August with compatriot Cristiano, who is continuing his recovery from a knee injury picked up in the Euro 2016 final.

Euro 2016 winners Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo return to work on 10 August.

None of Bale, Pepe or Kroos - who will have enjoyed 30, 30 and 29 days of summer holidays, respectively - have gone down the same road as Álvaro Morata, Lucas Vázquez and Mateo Kovacic, who all cut short their time off to make sure they'd be fit for the Super Cup.

Costa Rican goalkeeper Navas, meanwhile, is still working on his recuperation after undergoing heel surgery.

Benzema is a fitness doubt for the Super Cup.

Benzema unavailable too?

And Benzema may be the sixth Madrid man out, with the Frenchman troubled by a niggling hip problem that kept him on the sidelines for Los Merengues' pre-season fixtures against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

Despite the concern that exists among Real's backroom team over Benzema, however, the striker's camp is optimistic that he will be ready to play against Jorge Sampaoli's side.