Real Madrid: Casemiro back for Zidane after a 'bonus' rest
Back into the team for Celta Vigo, Los Blancos' Brazilian midfielder is again showing his importance to the team, both defensively and offensively.
Zinedine Zidane will welcome back one of his most important players as Casemiro returns to the starting line-up against Celta on Saturday. After missing the Champions League victory over Atalanta midweek, due to an accumulation of yellow cards, the Brazilian’s absence can now be seen as a bonus rather the pre-game sense of a risk to qualification. A key cog in the midfield has had a much-needed rest with big games ahead.
Casemiro back and fresh
The European second leg was only the fifth game Casemiro had missed all season, a campaign that has seen him involved for 2,716 minutes across 32 matches. He is the fourth most used player in the squad behind just Courtois, Varane and Mendy. The other positive in this regard is that he does not have to play for Brazil, so after the trip to Vigo he will have another two weeks off during the international week.
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Defensively, his importance has been crucial over the last five years. This year he leads the way in the team with statistics showing his tackles won (40), aerial duels (80), interceptions (49) and ball recoveries (150). However, he has also grown in his offensive influence this year. Zidane, aware of the midfielder’s eye for goal, has allowed him to get closer to the opposition box and he has not disappointed. He is the team's second top scorer, with six, behind only Karim Benzema (21), and five of them have come in LaLiga.
And let’s not forget he also has three assists to his name.
With the league and Champions League business end well and truly here, the importance of Casemiro to his team’s success cannot be underestimated.
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