Zidane: "City are a very strong side, that will not change"

Real Madrid's coach looked ahead to tomorrow's game against Celta: "Celta don't deserve to be where they are in the table, they're a decent side in every way".

Zidane: "City are a very strong side, that will not change"

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane looked ahead to tomorrow's game against Celta and spoke about other issues relating to the team - including next week's Champions League tie against Manchester City, who have been banned from European competition for the next two seasons.

Celta. "They key is just to keep doing what we've been doing. We know them well - they don't deserve to be where they are in the table, they're a good side in every way. We know it's gouing to be difficult - as all games are but the key is to carry on playing as we have been doing - with concentration, intensity and rhythm".

LaLiga Santander

Table PTS W D L
1Real Madrid 52 15 7 1
2Barcelona 49 15 4 4
3Getafe 42 12 6 5
Full standing
Next matches
Real Madrid - Celta D-16/02 21:00
Levante - Real Madrid S-22/02 21:00
Real Madrid - Barcelona D-01/03 21:00

*Update 15 de febrero de 2020

Madrid, 14 goals conceded in LaLiga after 23 games

Too dependent on a solid defence: "I don't think so, but football is all about finding the right balance. Playing attractive, attacking football is in Madrid's DNA. I was a player here and that's the way they see things here, but I always saw it as finding an equalibrium, you have to work hard in defence and that's what have always done".

Manchester City banned from European competition. "I don't know if it will really change anything. I only talk about football and the games we have against them; they are a strong, competitive side and that isn't going to change. The problem I have right now is tomorrow's game".

Hazard is a unique player - Zidane

Hazard. "I'm very happy that he's back. We know what he can bring to the team after being sidelined for almost three months. We signed Eden because there is no one like him. It's also true that we have to give him time to get back to full fitness, we need to be careful and that's basically what we have done while he's been out so that he can feel good. He's ready to play tomorrow".

Hazard's chances of starting against City. "First and foremost, it's good news that he is physically well - as you know, he hasn't played in three months. It's a question of building up rhythm. Physically, he's ready to return to the team".

When will you make your decision on what team to field? "There's no set moment. It depends on a lot of things. When you have so many good players, it's difficult. Each one of them brings something to the team. I've always said that those factors make it difficult for me; I like having all of my players fit and ready. You need enough time to be able to watch the players - it could be sta the start of the week or the end - there are a lot of things to take into account…"

You have a week to prepare for tomorrow's match. "The players would rather be playing. We've ha a while week to work so, it might be good for us".

You almost have all of your squad available. "I have 23 who can play and I have to choose which ones are included in the team and which ones aren't. What they do is give their best in training throughout the week then I have the difficult task of having to elect which ones will play. But it's better to have to choose when everyone is available. I prefer it that way".

Eden Hazard in this morning's training session

Madrid's upcoming games - City, Barcelona

Key fixtures calendar - seven games which could determine Madrid's season. "The most important games are always the next ones. Now we have a series of game which will decide everything. Every game we have coming up is going to be difficult but we are ready and prepared".

Giving Vinicius help on his finishing. "It's just a question of putting in the work. Vini is at an age where he has to work a lot on his game and he knows that. He has the quality - a lot of quality but you need to compliment that with working hard"

Next week's Champions League tie against Manchester City. "There are a team that is competitive in every way, it's going to be a very difficult tie. As for the ban, I'd rather not make any comment. It's not my job to. All that concerns me is tomorrow's game against Celta - a very tough rival, and especially considering where they are in the table. They'll be extra motivated against us".