Real Madrid travel to Villarreal this Saturday afternoon with a difficult task in store. Los Blancos currently sit fourth in the league table while their hosts are second, two points ahead, albeit with a game extra played.
The Yellow Submarine hired Unai Emery in the close-season and recruited well in the transfer market, and alongside league leaders Real Sociedad look to be strong outfits this season.
To make things more difficult for Madrid, they come into the clash with a slew of injuries and illnesses in the camp as detailed by Marca.
Zinedine Zidane‘s side will look to improve on their response to the last international break, when they lost consecutive home games to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk upon their return.
Of key importance is the absence of club captain and undisputed leader Sergio Ramos. The Andalusian injured himself during Spain’s 6-0 rout of Germany in La Cartuja and is expected to be unavailable for the next couple of weeks.
Also missing is Karim Benzema, who picked up a knock last time out against Valencia at Mestalla and hasn’t been able to recover. The French striker is said to be suffering from minor discomfort in his hip, and his absence will be dearly felt regarding the team’s scoring potential.
His natural replacement, Luka Jovic, scored three times for Serbia over the international break but will miss out after testing positive for COVID-19. Casemiro and Eder Militao, two other Madrid players to have tested positive, won’t travel either given they returned inconclusive results most recently.
Fede Valverde is also still injured, as is Alvaro Odriozola. Aside from their absences, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Nacho have returned to the matchday squad after recovering from injury while Eden Hazard is back after recovering from COVID-19. Madrid will be hoping they get back up to speed fast.
Featured image courtesy of Diario AS.