Cristiano Ronaldo is the big absentee for Wednesday night's Copa del Rey clash with Sevilla.
The Portuguese forward has been left out of Zidane's 19-man squad to face the Andalusian side that he's enjoyed 22 goals against. According to Real Madrid sources close to AS, the Ballon d'Or winner is being rested for what will be a busy January schedule. His absence, along with that of Gareth Bale, means that Karim Benzema is the only member of the BBC available to lead the Madrid attack.
Injuries at the back
Neither Pepe or Sergio Ramos trained with the group in the final session before Wednesday night's Copa del Rey clash with Sevilla at the Bernabeu and neither will feature with Raphael Varane and Nacho expected to man the centre of defense for Zinedine Zidane's charges.
Ramos continues to struggle with muscle discomfort he picked up at the Club World Cup. The Spanish defender will not play in the first leg but is confident he can make an appearence for the return leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on the 12 of January. In Pepe's case, he has also suffered with a muscle injury, and the club released a statement which read, "Following the tests carried out on Pepe at the Sanitas la Moraleja University Hospital, the player has been diagnosed with a grade 2 injury to the inner calf muscle of his left leg. His recovery will continue to be assessed."
Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Kovacic were the other absentees from training as they continue their individual recovery from various injuries.
Despite the loss of Pepe, Zidane will have his most frequently used midfield to call upon in the shape of Casemiro, Modric and Kroos with the big question remaining; who will partner Benzema in attack. Based on all logical thinking, James, Isco and Asensio are the three who will battle it out for their place in the starting team when Sevilla come to town.