REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Zidane forced to find temporary solutions

The coach could be without up to nine players either because of coronavirus or injury for Madrid's upcoming games against Villarreal, Inter, Shakthar and Sevilla.

The next few weeks will be a rollercoaster ride for Real Madrid with a lot on uncertainty within the squad due to players coming down with coronavirus, injuries, players returning from injury and those who have been on long trips with their national teams (most recently, Vinicius who travelled to Uruguay with Brazil). All of that is a headache for Zidane who is trying to plan for a series of key games over the next three weeks and with little time in between to rest - Villarreal (Saturday 16:15 hours CET), Inter Milan (Wednesday 25th), Shakthar (1 December) and Sevilla (5 December). And in the middle of that, on 28 November, Alavés at home. In two weeks from now, Madrid will have a clearer idea of whether they will progress from the Champions League and still have options in LaLiga…

Nine Madrid players injured or ill with Covid-19

While there was some good news with Casemiro returning a negative test for coronavirus, up to nine Madrid players are either in the sick bay or self-isolating special. Militão and Hazard remain in quarantine, and there has been no word from the club as to whether either has since tested negative for coronavirus; Sergio Ramos and Varane picked up injuries while out on the international duty - the captain pulled his right hamstring while on duty for Spain and Varane is nursing a shoulder injury; Benzema, was unable to complete the Valencia game and has been training apart; Fede Valverde while be out for some time after fracturing his shin bone and lastly, Carvajal, Odriozola and Nacho, who are only just coming out of their respective recovery programmes.

Nacho, Carvajal and Odriozola should enter the squad list for the Villarreal game, although none of them are match fit and therefore are unlikely to enter the starting XI. Benzema is in a similar situation, he suffered a groin strain against Valencia and so Zidane may decide to start him on the bench against Villarreal and bring him on for the second half so that he can build his rhythm back for the trip to Milan.

The biggest worry at the moment is Ramos, who hobbled out of Spain's Nations League clash with Germany at the end of the first half. Spain coach Luis Enrique said afterwards that the captain's injury didn't seem serious and Ramos was seen smiling and congratulating his team mates in the dressing room after the game. Much will depend on the results of the tests he will undergo once back in Madrid. Both Ramos and Varane are due to have scans tomorrow.