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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Real Madrid: Zidane leaves Bale, James out of Brugge squad

Zinedine Zidane has named his initial 19-man Real Madrid squad to face Club Brugge in Champions League Group A on Tuesday evening.

Real Madrid: Zidane leaves Bale, James out of Brugge squad
CHEMA DIAZ DIARIO AS

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane sprang a surprise on Monday by leaving Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez out of his squad for Los Blancos' Champions League clash with Club Brugge (Tuesday, 18:55 CEST).

Bale rested, James left out after suffering knock

Having both seemed destined to leave the Bernabéu in the summer, the pair have re-established themselves as Madrid regulars in the season's early stages.

It later emerged that Bale has been left out to allow the Welshman to rest, while James has been excluded as a precaution after picking up a knock.

Álvaro Odriozola, Brahim Díaz, Mariano Díaz and Rodrygo Goes have all also been omitted, as has injury victim Ferland Mendy. Marco Asensio remains a long-term absentee after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season.

Marcelo and Isco back from injury

On a positive note, meanwhile, Marcelo and Isco have been recalled after recovering from back and hamstring injuries, respectively. With fellow left-back Mendy out, the Brazilian is in contention to go straight back into the team against Brugge.

Zidane must reduce initial squad to final 18

Zidane will have to cut down his 19-man list by one when he submits his final team sheet, with third-choice goalkeeper Diego Altube likely to miss out.

Real Madrid squad to face Club Brugge

Goalkeepers: Courtois, Areola and Altube.

Defenders: Carvajal, Militao, Ramos, Varane, Nacho and Marcelo.

Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde and Isco.

Forwards: Hazard, Benzema, Lucas Vázquez, Jovic and Vinicius.