The days play in Zidane's favor. The Real Madrid squad experienced its worst moment on April 18 against Getafe: the coach could only count on eleven outfield players from the first team. Since then, it has been recovering troops with a dropper.
That will happen again during this week, in which Zizou he hopes to have back two players who seem fundamental in the most important game of the season so far, the return of the Champions semi-finals at Stamford Bridge on May 5. They are Fede Valverde (back after overcoming the coronavirus) and Ferland Mendy (in the final stretch of his recovery).
They have been two fundamental players throughout the season for Zidane (the French full-back is the fifth outfield player with the most minutes, 3,197 '), but they are especially important against Chelsea. Both raise the physical level of the team, the point where Madrid faltered the most in the first leg of Di Stéfano. With them, the French coach can return to the defense of four (with Mendy for Marcelo) and reinforce the midfielder line with Valverde, an area of the field in which the Londoners clearly outperformed the Madridistas, especially in the first half.
These returns open unknowns in the system. The first, in defense. Zidane plans to return to the defense of four and the doubt is whether Nacho will occupy the lane of two after the low physical tone still shown by Carvajal. If the technician opts for the latter, there are three names for two squares in the center of the defense: Varane, Nacho and Militao. They must be joined by Sergio Ramos, who may have minutes even this Saturday against Osasuna. However, the captain returns after chaining two injuries almost in a row (first a knee intervention and then a muscle break) and with the level shown in recent games by the centrals it is difficult for Zidane to risk the captain in a match of such physical demand .
The attack is the area of the field where Zidane's problems are not casualties, but deciding among all the available players. If you choose to strengthen the midfield and play 4-4-2, you have overbooking in the square to accompany a non-negotiable Benzema in attack. Up to four players compete for that position: Vinicius, Hazard, Asensio and Rodrygo. Right now that square is Vini, but his match against Chelsea cast doubts and Zidane considers introducing Hazard if he sees him at 100% during the remaining days. Not forgetting Asensio, in whom the coach has full confidence …