REAL MADRID - BARCELONA

Zidane sends a clear message to Luka Jovic

The decision by Real Madrid head coach Zidane not to include Luka Jovic is based on sporting grounds with the forward only playing for 6 minutes since scoring in Pamplona.

Zidane sends a clear message to Luka Jovic
JESUS RUBIO DIARIO AS

Real Madrid head coach Zidane surprised many with the publication of his 19-man squad ahead of Sunday's El Clascio at the Santiago Bernabéu with the exclusion of Luka Jovic proving to be the main talking point. Mariano is included in the attacking options ahead of the Serbian international and upon being asked about the lack of playing time and goal scoring for both forwards in the pre-match press conference, the coach stated: "I'm not worried, for the past four months we've been winning games, and much of these without Hazard too. The most important thing is for us to be solid and know how to score. It's later then up for me to make the team selection and it's as simple as that".

Mariano favoured

Jovic is in perfect physical condition and his lack of selection points to a clear message from the coach. The 22-year-old played in the 1-4 win against Osasuna on February 9, coming on from the bench in the 88th minute and scoring in time added on. Since then, the striker has been used for just six further minutes coming on in the draw against Celta with the scoreboard at 2-2 .

The Batar (Bosnia) born player ranks as No. 18 in the current Real Madrid first team squad in terms of playing time all season. Despite his high profile summer move from Eintracht Frankfurt, the striker has just played for 770 minutes in the 2019-20 campaign, bagging two goals to boot and providing two assists. This translates to being involved in a goal in an average of every 192.5 minutes and contrasts to that of last season in Germany where his goal involvement stats were one per 97 minutes.