Hazard and Asensio left out for trip to Real Betis
Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio have taken part in several training sessions with Real Madrid since returning to action for the 2020/21 season, but Zidane believes they need more time to be match fit for a place in his squad.
Real Madrid have announced their matchday squad for the match against Real Betis this Saturday at 9:00 p.m. at the Benito Villamarín stadium. The big question was whether or not Asensio and Hazard would be involved. Zidane has decided against either forward being in this week's squad, leaving both out for the trip to Sevilla. The two returned to training behind the group's schedule, meaning it could be Madrid's home fixture against Valladolid on Wednesday before they take to the field.
At the press conference held right after Madrid's training session on Friday morning in Valdebebas, Zidane said: "They could travel, but they are players who have just arrived back in, they haven't worked much yet...but we will see. The important thing is that they are physically well. We will see tomorrow, we will also play on Wednesday, there are many games. We will see how we get on."
Difficult first season
Hazard endured a difficult first season in Madrid, suffering a serious ankle injury, which required surgery and months on the sidelines. Zidane reiterated that the former Chelsea man needs more training sessions to reach full fitness. "From his latest injury he has no discomfort, the only thing, as always, is that he has had very few training sessions with the team, he has to go step by step. He will be with the team soon. What I said before Real Sociedad is that we want him to come in and be 100% fine and to feel good when he plays."
Both players could be in with a chance to feature against Valladolid midweek, especially given the schedule of matches next week. Isco and Lucas Vázquez will travel to Sevilla for the tough fixture at the Villamarín. Two players who have also just come back from injury recently and who have done practically the same number of sessions with the group as Asensio and Hazard. Zidane has decided to pick both of them to be in contention for Madrid's second fixture of the season.
Zidane isn't counting on any youth team call-ups this time out, after handing debuts to Marvin Park and Sergio Arribas away to Real Sociedad on the opening day. On this occasion, he has however called up Real Madrid Castilla goalkeeper Diego Altube, who could become the club's third choice this season.
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Lunin, Altube.
Defenders: Carvajal, Odriozola, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Mendy.
Midfielders: Odegaard, Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Isco.
Forwards: Benzema, Jovic, Mayoral, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Lucas Vázquez.