Real Madrid: Zidane recalls Vinicius as cover for Hazard

After missing out on five of Real Madrid's last eight match day squads, the Brazilian has been reinstated due to injuries to Eden Hazard and Lucas Vázquez.

Real Madrid: Zidane recalls Vinicius as cover for Hazard

Zinedine Zidane has recalled Vinicius Junior to the Real Madrid squad for the game against Alavés on Saturday after the Brazilian’s recent absence from the list. Injuries to Eden Hazard, Lucas Vázquez and the long-term absence of Marco Asensio has opened the door for Vinicius to stake his claim for more playing time, although he will probably have to do so from the bench with Rodrygo and Gareth Bale currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

Vinicius back in the fold

Zidane said earlier on Friday that Vinicius would not be going out on loan in January and that his chance would come and the knock Hazard suffered at the hands of his international teammate Thomas Meunier has offered the teenager another crack at the whip.

Another fringe player who has been mostly an observer this season, Álvaro Odriozola, is also in the squad for the first time since the 1-0 defeat at Mallorca on 19 October, which was also the last time Vinicius was handed a start. The Spain international may be used to hand Dani Carvajal, who has played the full 90 minutes 15 times this season, a rest in Mendizorrotza.

Nacho, who has returned to full training but has not yet been given the green light to play, will remain in Madrid with Real’s injured players James Rodríguez, Vázquez, Raphaël Varane and Asensio.

As has been the case for the majority of the season, Brahim Díaz and his namesake Mariano miss out entirely.

Real Madrid squad for Alavés

Keepers: Courtois, Areola, Altube.

Defenders: Carvajal, Militão, Ramos, Marcelo, Odriozola, Mendy.

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

Forwards: Benzema, Bale, Jović, Vinicius, Rodrygo.