Cristiano out against Sevilla; time for Isco and James Rodríguez

Cristiano out against Sevilla; time for Isco and James Rodríguez


Zinedine Zidane will have some problems to find a line up for tonight’s game against Sevilla in Copa del Rey (Santiago Bernabéu stadium, 20:15 UK time). Los Blancos have a lot of players injured after the FIFA Clubs World Cup and the French manager will have to put in the pitch some players with less minutes this season.

The biggest surprise in Zidane’s list was the exclusion of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker played the final in Japan with some problems and the manager prefered to not risk and give him some rest. Zidane is the only manager able to make Cristiano rest for a bit. We have to remember that the striker didn’t play as well in the last game at home, in la Liga against Deportivo back in December.

Therefore, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale out of the team, there is space for other players. In these situations, Lucas Vázquez had always a place in the line up, but now the winger is also injured. Álvaro Morata could have his opportunity in the attacking line together with Karim Benzema.

In the midfield, Mateo Kovacic is also injured and James Rodríguez is supposed to start after not playing any minute against Kashima Antlers in Japan. Isco could be his pair in the playmaking area, with Luka Modric or Toni Kroos having some rest.

Zidane has also problems in the defense line. Pepe and Sergio Ramos are injured, so Raphael Varane and Nacho will be the full back pair. Both played together at Vicente Calderón this year, thrashing Atlético Madrid in the derby. Dani Carvajal and Marcelo should the right and left back. In the goal, Kiko Casilla will be the goalkeeper in the Copa del Rey, giving some rest to Keylor Navas.

Again the quality of the squad will be tested against Sevilla. This season Real Madrid have a very competitive squad and Zizou has shown his skills on how to handle it. The Copa del Rey fixture against Sevilla will be a very important test to see how Los Blancos are after travelling to Japan to win another trophy.