Madrid derby: Zidane press conference
Zinedine Zidane spoke before Real Madrid's derby match against Atlético Madrid in LaLiga, to be played on Saturday 19 November in the Calderón. This will be the last time the two teams meet in Atleti's current ground in the league, as they are moving to their new San Blas stadium next summer.
Zidane's Madrid side comes into the match at the top of the table, but beset by injuries, and with both Benzema and Ronaldo struggling in front of goal. To add to his woes, back up striker Morata was injured on international duty in World Cup qualifier against Macedonia and the friendly against England.
Zidane had the following to say during his press conference:
How is the team?
We've got the players back from international duty and in general they look good. We've had only a few days and they are ready.
How is Benzema?
He's in the squad. He's fine. He's happy to be with us. Let's see if he plays. He is ready to play.
Morata was injured on international duty.
These things happen. We're not going to blame anyone. These things happen. Hopefully he gets fit soon.
Ramos has been training. Casmiro is ruled out.
Yes, Casemiro is better every day, but he's out. We'll see if he can train next week. Sergio Ramos has trained well all week and tomorrow we'll see how he plays.
Your only defeat came against Atleti...
Thanks for reminding me (laughs). Yes it's going to be a tough game for both teams. We'll do our best to have a good game, and do everything we can to win.
Casemiro is out. Kroos is out. This is going to effect the game. How do you deal with it?
Sorry to be brief, but you'll see tomorrow.
Number of games unbeaten...
We haven't won anything. We want to keep going. It's a derby, it's a great game. It's good for the fans, for football. People want to see a great game. But I insist, we haven't won anything. We have to keep going.
What does Ramos' return mean. Particularly what he's done against Atleti, for example in the Champions...
He's our captain. He means a lot. Not just as a player, but as a person.
Isco is the only midfielder not injured or recently injured. Will he start?
He's fine. As a coach I see him as happy. He's good. He looked good with Spain.
Madrid haven't won at the Calderon since 2013. Does that make it more of a test?
Test? No, tomorrow is 50:50. We're used to tough matches, tomorrow is another one.
Morata's injury? Did you understand why nobody from the Spanish FA looked at him between the games.
It's easy for me to sit here now and wonder. But I'm not a doctor. Everyone there is competent, and doing the best they can. We just need to be patient now. These thing happen.
Ronaldo is two goals from Di Stefan's Record in derbies. He's clearly up for it. He went in hard on Lucas Vázquez in training... do you need to calm him down?
No! His energy is contagious. I want him to be like that always! Lucas Vázquez is fine (laughs).
Difference between Atleti of last season and this season, more offensive?
Atleti every year is better. Their coach is so good. He's changed things since he came in. He's doing so well. Every year they are better. They defend well, yes, but they are a lot more than that. For us it's a good game to be involved in.
Will there be lots of goals?
I don't know. I'm not a wizard. We need to play and see what happens. What we want is a good game of football.
Zidane press conference build-up
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will be speaking before tomorrow's trip to the Vicente Calderón for the LaLiga match against city rivals Atlético Madrid (20:45).
Real Madrid are currently top of the table, six points ahead of Simeone's side who are back in fourth, though they have failed to truly convince in many of their games this season. Reflecting that Atlético are ahead in the betting, at 2.4:1, while Madrid pay out at 2.99:1.This is the first derby Atleti have been favourites in for 17 derbies in a row.
Real Madrid injuries
There will no doubt be questions about Real Madrid's injury list. Casemiro and Pepe trained away from the group today, suggesting they are still not ready.
Benzema trained as normal and will almost certainly be involved tomorrow. Ramos too is back in full training and is expected to start.
Striker Morata is out for a month, having been injured on international duty with Spain. Expect Zidane to be queried about his opinion on the Spain FA's decision to play him against England, after he took a knock against Macedonia.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Calderón drought
Ronaldo who has been struggling to score this season is almost certain to be mentioned. He's not scored at the Calderón now in his last five appearances. That said, his record is still seven goals in 10 appearances there.
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