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Zidane's problems: Modric, Casemiro, Ramos all injured

The coach will be without the defender and two key midfielders for games against Betis, Athletic Bilbao, Alavés and Leganés as well as Legia Warsaw home and away.
Dortmund vs Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos, Casemiro and Modric are all out injured for Real Madrid.

Tapping into the spine

The latest additions to the Real Madrid treatment room have sounded the alarms around the Bernabéu. The most recent set back was the injury to Sergio Ramos while on duty with Spain, who looks like he will be out of action for six weeks, giving Zinedine Zidane a further headache. The Frenchman already knew that two of his central pillars, Casemiro and Modric, were going to be out for a while and now a further blow has been dealt to part of the Real Madrid spine.

Certainly the biggest disappointment in all of this - something that would have surprised many if predicted not so long ago - is the absence of holding midfielder, Casemiro. As was noted near the end of the summer transfer window, his position is the only one that doesn't have natural and immediate cover. His injury on September 18 against Espanyol was diagnosed to have him out for between one and two months with the club hopeful of his return for the Madrid derby on 20 November although it's still too early to know. Modric, and now Sergio Ramos, are also facing a race against time to make that key game.

Calm before the storm

That date towards the end of November, when Simeone's men will be awaiting their neighbour's visit to the Calderón, is a key target for Madrid's medical team. There is much to do before then though.

Ahead of the next international break Zidane has to put a winning side together for six games in 23 days including the Champions League game against Legia Warsaw (18 Oct) and the game against Athletic Bilbao (Oct 23).

The Calderón trip then kicks off the final sprint of 2016 for Los Blancos with 10 games in 33 or 34 days, with the Camp Nou being one notable fixture as well as a trip to Japan for the Club World Cup and a meeting at the Bernabéu against Borussia Dortmund which many believe will decide who finishes first and second in their Champions League group. It's a rather key period.

Upcoming Real Madrid fixtures

Day Date Time Game Competition 1 Saturday 15 October 20:45 Betis - Real Madrid LaLiga 2 Tuesday 18 October 20:45 Real Madrid - Legia Varsovia Champions League 3 Sunday 23 October 20:45 Real Madrid - Athletic LaLiga 4 Saturday 29 October 16:15 Alavés - Real Madrid LaLiga 5 Wednesday 2 November 20:45 Legia Varsovia - Real Madrid Champions League 6 Sunday 6 November 12:00 Real Madrid - Leganés LaLiga

Real Madrid 2016 final stretch

Day Date Time Game Competition 1 Saturday 19 Nov s. c. Atlético - Real Madrid LaLiga 2 Tuesday 22 Nov 20:45 Sporting Portugal - Real Madrid Champions League 3 tbc 26-27 Nov s. c. Real Madrid - Sporting Gijón LaLiga 4 tbc 29-30 Nov s. c. 1/16 final (home) Copa del Rey 5 Saturday 4 Dec s. c. Barcelona - Real Madrid LaLiga 6 Wednesday 7 Dec s. c. Real Madrid - Dortmund Champions League 7 tbc 10-11 Dec s. c. Real Madrid - Deportivo LaLiga 8 Thursday 15 Dec 11:30 Por confirmar CWC Postponed Valencia - Real Madrid* LaLiga 9 Sunday 18 Dec s. c. Final (11:30) or Third place (08:00) CWC 10 tbc. 21-22 Dec s. c. 1/16 final (away) Copa del Rey *Real Madrid will play their Liga game against Valencia on 14/15 or 21/22 February 2017, depending on potential Champions League commitments.

Zidane: key selections, no excuses

The manager will already be looking ahead and planning out his selection strategy for the coming months with these key players out. And it is something that he is having to get used to with only two of his first team players escaping injury so far this campaign. The Frenchman has already shown his trait of squad rotation especially when players have returned from distant travels for their country duty.

Now all eyes will be on his next starting eleven to see what his preferred system and personnel are but also, more importantly, on how they then perform. At a club like Real Madrid where squad depth is expected, injuries are not much of an excuse.


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