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Zidane forced to plan ahead without the 'BBC'

Real Madrid-Sporting live

1.000 Sporting fans expected  

Sporting fans (LA MAREONA)

Between the Madrid derby and next Saturday's 'El Clásico', this evening Real Madrid face a struggling Sporting Gijon side. The Asturian's started the campaign brightly with two wins in the first three games but then subsequently went into free-fall and Abelardo's side have managed only two points from the past nine games. Despite their dire situation their renowned and faithful fans, "La Mareona" follow the team everywhere. Over 1.000 visiting supporters are anticipated to show up at the Bernabeu this evening which is still impressive when their league position is considered and the grim wintry conditions the Iberian peninsula is experiencing at present. The easier option would be to avoid the wind and rain and watch the game from the comfort of the sofa.

Ramos one card from suspension

MARCELO & COENTRAO

Zidane is set to start with Sergio Ramos, despite the defender being one card away from a suspension which would rule him out of the Camp Nou game next weekend. "I don't think that way", the French coach observed. Varane is missing and Pepe is back but still not at full fitness and Zidane in no mood to take risks with his players. Barça are in action tomorrow and the always tricky Anoeta awaits Luis Enrique's men so Madrid theoretically could go into tomorrow with a seven point advantage over the Catalan side. Apart from confirming Sergio Ramos' presence in the Sporting game, Zidane took the opportunity of yesterday's press conference to analysis his players and their respective situation. The Frenchman as always was very succinct and careful in using his level of Spanish and I especially liked what he had to say about Coentrao.

BBC "off-air" for three months

The Portuguese defender seems dogged by bad luck. After playing midweek in Lisbon, he's managed to pick up yet another injury and is out of today's game and it would have been an excellent opportunity to rest Marcelo against the Gijon outfit. Coentrao was brutally honest about his situation after conceding the penalty in Tuesday's game and his frank talking has been well received. As we all know Bale is also missing and we now face some months ahead without the imposition of the BBC. They're the best claims Zidane, but it's also true that Madrid perform better when one of the trio are absent. The Welsh players situation should provide a much needed platform for both Asensio and James to prove their worth.