Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane’s team selections show who he trusts and who he does not

Real Madrid are on a run of five successive victories in all competitions and have hit their best form of the season in the build-up to Christmas.

League victories over Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Club and Eibar have seen the club climb the standings in La Liga up to second and joint-top with their city neighbours Atleti, who have played two games less.

However, a report in Diario AS has outlined how Los Blancos are not needing to use their 25-man squad in that run with a core group of 12 players used more heavily than anyone else with Zinedine Zidane showing which players he values above all others.

Thibaut Courtois, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema have all played every minute, while Lucas Vazquez (435 minutes) and Luka Modric (430) are also regulars in a run of wins which is dominating Real Madrid news.

Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between SD Eibar and Real Madrid CF at the Ipurua stadium in Eibar on December 20, 2020. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP) (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Sergio Ramos and Casemiro have also played every minute of the four games they were available for selection, while Vinicius Junior has appeared in 306 minutes – only missing the trip to Eibar due to illness.

Athletic Bilbao’s Spanish defender Oscar De Marcos (L) challenges Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Athletic Club Bilbao at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Madrid on December 15, 2020. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP) (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Dani Carvajal – who has returned from injury – and Rodrygo Goes have also been relied upon but other players such as Marco Asensio, Nacho Fernandez and Fede Valverde have fallen from prominence.

Nine first-team squad players have not played at all in this timeframe, including defenders Eder Militao, Marcelo and Alvaro Odriozola.

Tags Zinedine Zidane