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Real Madrid return to work without Hazard but with Mariano

Zinedine Zidane has his striker back at training, despite requesting that a suitable exit is arranged for him, while youth players make their case.

Real Madrid return to work without Hazard but with Mariano
RealMadrid.com

Real Madrid returned to training on Tuesday after two days rest following their disappointing draw at home to Valladolid. Manager Zinedine Zidane has been called out for the very familiar look to the starting XI that he sent out on Saturday - one almost identical to that of five years ago - but his decision making has been hampered by a catalogue of injuries hitting his new recruits, something he'll have to deal with a while longer.

Mariano staying fit

The biggest star of the so-called summer revolution was Eden Hazard and he, along with Brahim and James, continued to work inside the training facility on recuperation. Sunday's upcoming game against Villarreal at the Estadio de la Cerámica will come too soon for any of them.

The 'good' news in terms of returning faces for Zidane was the presence of Mariano along with the rest of the group. Although the coach is not expected to count on the striker for this season, after asking for him to be shipped out before the transfer window closes on 2 September, his fitness could assist with his departure to an agreeable club.

New boy Rodrygo was also out on the field and is in the final straight of his recovery process, likely seeing him join the rest of the first team in the coming days, and also getting some minutes under his belt with Raúl's Castilla. As we reported, the plan is that he will build his experience with the reserve side while being kept as part of the main squad as Zidane keeps a close eye. From the Castilla ranks training along with the first team on Tuesday were Altube (a goalkeeper familiar with this opportunity), Fran García and Fidalgo.

Out of contention | Real Madrid's James Rodríguez

Out of contention | Real Madrid's James Rodríguez

All this represents another forced hand for Los Blancos' manager as he looks to select his starting XI for Villarreal. James has fallen from last weekend's side meaning that Vinicius could well get another chance to shine, and finally convince his gaffer that he is worth his place.