Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos have been left out of Zinedine Zidane’s squad for the trip to play Numancia in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey in Los Pajaritos with the Real boss eager to preserve both players for the demanding Liga trip to Celta Vigo at the weekend. Marcelo and Toni Kroos have also been omitted with Sunday’s game in mind.
Ramos had a slight injury problem leading into the Club World Cup and sat out the semi-final against Al-Jazira although he did feature in both the final against Grêmio and the Clásico defeat against Barcelona before the winter break.
Cristiano Ronaldo handed a rest
Ronaldo, meanwhile, has played every game of the season so far apart from the double-header against Fuenlabrada in the previous round of the cup after serving a five-game ban at the start of the season for shoving referee De Burgos Bengoetxea during the Spanish Super Cup in August.
The absence of key personnel opens the door to Dani Ceballos to make a rare start for Zidane in Soria. Dani Carvajal will also start against Numancia as he is suspended for the match against Celta while Castilla stalwart Álvaro Tejero makes the squad and could feature at some stage.
Karim Benzema is also missing after returning from the winter break carrying an injury that may also rule him out in Balaídos.
Real Madrid squad for Numancia
Keepers: Navas, Casilla, Moha.
Defenders: Carvajal, Vallejo, Varane, Nacho, Theo, Achraf , Tejero.
Midfielders: Casemiro, Marcos Llorente, Asensio, Isco, Kovacic, Ceballos.
Forwards: Bale, Vázquez, Borja Mayoral.