Zinedine Zidane is already well aware of the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be fit for the European Super Cup final and that Gareth Bale will be a close call. That’s probably why he’s started looking at alternative line-ups, including a two-man strike force.
In this afternoon’s training session in Montreal, the Frenchman decided to take a quick look at how Benzema and Morata play together. They both looked in good nick as they lined up against a back four of Marcelo, Lienhart, Tejero and Carvajal. Benzema was Real Madrid’s number 9 of choice last season, while Morata had look set to be sold for a large profit this summer but it now looks as if he will stay at the Bernabéu.
The French striker opted to skip the first half of today’s drill as a precautionary measure, which included weight and resistance training. He joined in for the second phase and was able to complete the training plan designed by club fitness coach Antonio Pintus.
Benzema showed nos signs of discomfort for the 20 minutes the session lasted and was leading also the group in sprints, as part of a group that included Marcelo, Lucas Vázquez, Mariano and Sergio Díaz.
This first look at a possible two-man forward pairing comes just three days before the first summer friendly, when Zidane’s men will line up against Unai Emery’s PSG in Columbus, Ohio.
The squad conducted their eleventh training session of the pre-season without both Marco Asensio and Mariano, who trained apart from the rest of squad in the gym. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas, meanwhile, continues with his recovery program following an operation on his left foot back in June.
The last line of defence needs to be prepared for anything and Madrid’s goalkeeping coach, Luis Llopis, fired tennis balls from behind Navas’ field of vision to help with that.