Luka Modric received the fifth yellow card in Riazor against Deportivo de la Coruña in the last game of La Liga this season and he’ll miss the start of the campaign in Anoeta. This is a major problem for Zinedine Zidane because the Croatian is a key player in his plans.
Casemiro and Toni Kroos are fixed players in the starting eleven for the French coach. The German came back later from his holidays and he missed the European Supercup but Kroos is expected to start in Anoeta.
With Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo ruled out for the game, there are only two positions left in the team, taking in consideration that Álvaro Morata and Gareth Bale will also start on Sunday. Who will be playing in these two positions left?
Lucas Vázquez has gained himself a place in the starting eleven. If Benzema and Cristiano aren’t ready for the game, the Galician player is the perfect replacement in the attacking line. He played last year in San Sebastian and did a great job with Gareth Bale, so Zidane might choose him again.
The other position in the midfield is the tricky one. Mateo Kovacic would be the perfect replacement if Zidane doesn’t want to touch the tactics. The Croatian was linked to several clubs in Italy this summer but could start playing in the starting eleven in the first game of the season.
The others three options are James Rodríguez, Isco or Asensio. The Colombian played last year in Anoeta but Zidane has shown during the pre-season that James will have little options to play in his team. The former Monaco player will have more reason to leave Real Madrid in the next few days if he is still not playing in the team.
The Spanish options look more likely. Isco and Asensio have played a lot of minutes during the summer and both are fit. The Spaniards played in the European Supercup and did a good job in the midfield. Now it’s time for Zidane to choose among all these players. The good news is that even with some important players missing the game, Zidane has a lot of options.