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Real Madrid Not Thinking About Clasico, Says Zidane

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane appears on earlier than the UEFA Champions League Group A soccer match between Club Brugge and Real Madrid CF on the Jan Breydel Stadium in Bruges on December 11, 2019. JOHN THYS / AFP

 

Zinedine Zidane has disregarded options Real Madrid could possibly be distracted by the upcoming Clasico once they play in-form Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

Madrid face a troublesome recreation at Mestalla, simply three days earlier than taking over Barcelona at Camp Nou in a match that might resolve who goes prime of the desk.

But Zidane’s group can not afford to underestimate Valencia, who’ve registered three consecutive victories, together with one away at Ajax on Tuesday that secured qualification for the Champions League final 16 as group winners.

Valencia sit eighth, whereas Barcelona and Madrid are degree on factors in first and second respectively.

Asked concerning the Clasico, Zidane mentioned in a press convention on Saturday: “I’m not thinking about that at all and I include everyone who works here at the club in that.

“Our only concern is tomorrow’s game. The rest may be close but at the same time it’s far away. Tomorrow’s game has all my energy and about Wednesday, I’m not interested.”

After Barcelona, Real Madrid play at dwelling to Athletic Bilbao, to finish a tricky week earlier than La Liga’s Christmas break.

Zidane admits it will likely be “difficult not to rotate” within the three fixtures and it stays to be seen whether or not Gareth Bale is given some minutes in opposition to Valencia, after he was left on the bench in opposition to Club Brugge on Wednesday.

Bale has simply recovered from a thigh harm sustained earlier this month. “The other day Gareth didn’t play but he is here and I am counting on him,” Zidane mentioned. “The important thing is he is available and ready.”

Zidane additionally has a dilemna over whether or not to pick Casemiro in opposition to Valencia, given the Brazilian can be suspended for the sport in opposition to Barca if he picks up a yellow card.

Madrid are in need of different choices in defensive midfield.

“I have to pick a starting line-up thinking only about tomorrow’s game – if I think about Wednesday, that would be a mistake,” mentioned Zidane.

“I always talk with the players because I’m interested in the feelings they all have. And with Casemiro, it’s the same. We know his importance and what he gives to the team.”

Ferland Mendy is banned in opposition to Valencia and Marcelo is out with a calf harm, that means Nacho Fernandez or Eder Militao are more likely to fill in at left-back.

James Rodriguez skilled alone on Saturday as he continues his restoration from a knee drawback and won’t be prepared this weekend. Eden Hazard (ankle), Lucas Vazquez (toe) and Marco Asensio (cruciate ligament) are all out.

AFP

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