Real Madrid: Casemiro, Carvajal and Lucas doubts for Copa
Zinedine Zidane could face an issue on the right against Real Sociedad after his three stalwarts missed training on Tuesday.
Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory over city rivals Atlético maintained their lead at the top of the Liga table but may yet prove costly as Zinedine Zidane prepares for the Copa del Rey quarter-final against Real Sociedad at the Bernabéu on Thursday evening (kick-off at 19:00 CET).
Casemiro and Lucas Vázquez were both absent from training on Tuesday which along with the absence of Dani Carvajal, who picked up a knock against Atlético, could leave Zidane with a problem to solve on the right hand side against the Basque side, who have been enjoying a decent season and will arrive eager to erase the memory of an unexpected defeat at relegation-threatened Leganés last weekend.
Carvajal will be rested against La Real with an eye on Osasuna at the weekend, which means Zidane will be without a recognized right back for the Copa game. Álvaro Ordiozola left for Bayern Munich on loan in January leaving Nacho as the only squad member who is comfortable in that position, although Lucas Vázquez can fill in there. However, the Galician winger also missed training on Tuesday and it is unclear if he will be fit for the game on Thursday.
Hazard, Bale could come in for Copa del Rey
Elsewhere, Zidane is likely to be without Casemiro, who was also absent on Tuesday, with the Brazilian expected to be handed a rest against La Real as he was in the last round against Zaragoza. Defensive midfield is another area where Zidane has little in reserve but the Brazilian is the squad’s most-used player this season. Fede Valverde or Toni Kroos, who was sacrificed at half time against Atlético as Zidane made a tactical switch, can drop back into that role, the Germany international having done so previously this season.
Zidane has few injury concerns elsewhere. Marco Asensio is nearing a return from a cruciate ligament injury and Mariano Díaz is out but the forward has only seen 44 minutes of action this season, during the Spanish Super Cup.
Whether or not Eden Hazard makes his long-awaited return from an ankle injury in the Copa tie is the main source of interest for Real fans, while Gareth Bale may also get a look-in after recovering from an ankle injury.
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