Saturday 19th of November 20:45. This is the date that everybody is thinking about at Real Madrid. Los Blancos will play the first big game of the season in the Madrid derby against Atlético. After three months of competitions, Zidane’s side is unbeaten but they haven’t played against big teams. They’ve only faced Borussia Dortmund in Champions League. So the clash is very important to know where the team is.
Real Madrid have not lost in the last 28 games. The last defeat was in Champions League against Wolfsburg in the first leg of the Quarter Finals. In La Liga, Zidane has only lost one game, against Atlético Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Simeone’s side was much better, so this is something Zidane wants to improve.
It will be very important for the French manager to have the full squad available. Most of the players are with their national teams, but some others are still working in Valdebebas, Real Madrid training ground. Among them, the players injured: Casemiro, Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Karim Benzema. All of them have the goal to arrive fit to the derby but it won’t be easy. We know for sure that Toni Kroos will miss the game, after he got broken the fifth metatarsal of his foot.
Sergio Ramos is the one with more chances. The Spanish full back was training in the ground already and could be fit for the derby. He had a sprained knee one month ago but he was working hard and it’s very likely that he could participate in the game.
His pair in the defence Pepe has less option. He got injured in the game against Alavés. He has muscular problems in the thigh of his left leg. Muscular problems are always tricky, so with Nacho, Varane and perhaps Sergio Ramos fit, Zidane won’t risk with Pepe.
Karim Benzema got injured in Poland. The club has not made any statement but the striker missed the game against Leganés. Álvaro Morata is the perfect replacement but if the French is ready to play, he will start the game. It’s a big question mark whether he will be ready or not.
Casemiro is the one with less opportunities to play the derby. Unfortunately for the Brazilian stopper, he had the fibula broken so he needs two or three weeks more of recovery. Real Madrid supporters are missing him, but there are few chances for him to play the derby.