Real Madrid will play host to newly-promoted side Osasuna in La Liga at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
The 33-time La Liga champions escaped with a close 1-0 win against an in-form Sevilla team, thanks to a 65th minute Karim Benzema header which proved to be the winner.
The win reprieved the underfire manager Zinedine Zidane to some degrees, whose job came under threat after a 0-3 defeat in the Champions League at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.
The Los Blancos could claim the first stop with a win over Osasuna if Athletic Bilbao fails to win Leganes on the road.
For Osasuna, it has been a decent start to the new season, as they remain unbeaten after five games. Though, four of those games ended in draws.
The La Liga match will be played between Real Madrid and Osasuna at Santiago Bernabéu, in Madrid, Spain. The ground has a capacity of 81,044.
The game will start at 12:30 AM (IST), on Saturday, September 26.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Real Madrid – W D D W L W
Osasuna – W D D W D D
Real Madrid Team News:
Real Madrid have been hit hard before this game as summer signing Ferland Mendy has been diagnosed with an abductor muscle injury in his left leg. The former Lyon left-back will be missing the game.
Marco Asensio returned to the training this week for the first time since suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament against Arsenal in the International Champions Cup clash this summer. But the 23-year-old will take some time to recover and is expected to be out for at least one more month.
Stars returned to the training – Zidane in for a boost:
Isco, Luka Modric and Marcelo all returned to the training ground this week, following their recovering from their respective injuries.
However, the former Malaga playmaker is ahead in terms of fitness and is likely to be involved against Osasuna.
While Modric and Marcelo are expected not to be rushed back into action in this game, with the Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid this coming weekend the likely scenario for the duo to come under consideration.
Expect Zidane to rotate, as he aims to keep his stars fresh for the Madrid derby:
Madrid have played two intense games last week and another high-profile game against Atletico Madrid is on the horizon. That’s why it’s highly likely that Zidane makes changes to his playing 11 here.
Luke Jovic hasn’t been used as often as he would have liked. Madrid’s big-money signing of this summer is likely to get a start here.
While Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Jr, are also in contention, with the likes of Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, and Tony Kroos all starting on the bench.
Real Madrid Probable XI:
Courtois (GK), Odriozola, Militao, Ramos, Nacho, Valverde, Casemiro, Vazquez, Rodriguez, Vinicius Jr., Jovic
Osasuna FC Team News:
Darko Brasanac failed to recover from his ankle injury and has been ruled out from this game.
While Unai Garcia, Inigo Perez, and Kike Barja remain the long-term injury absentees for Osasuna.
Osasuna squad for this game:
The old school Jagoba Arrasate:
Osasuna have kept three clean sheets in the first five games, and boast the 3rd best defensive record in La Liga heading into this match.
It’s more down to Jagoba Arrasate’s tactics as the 41-year-old likes to congest his midfield, with even his forward players dropping down to help the midfielders.
So expect Osasuna to be compact in the midfield, which means an extra midfielder for a striker.
Osasuna Probable XI:
Martinez (GK), Vidal, Roncaglia, Hernandez, Estupinan, Torres, Merida, Moncayola, Ibanez, Avila, Brandon
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Luka Jovic: For a striker who cost £52.4m (€60m), you expect him to be a regular fixture in the playing 11. But the former Eintracht Frankfurt star has failed to impress Zidane so far. Now, this is a chance. The 21-year-old must make the most of it and force his way into the team.
Roberto Torres: A game-changer. A player who not only carries a goal threat but contribute to the team’s cause by pressing down the opponents.
Vinicius Jr and Lucas Vazquez: The duo is expected to occupy the flanks here. Both the players have found the opportunities come in a limited package this season. But there is enormous talent in there.
RM vs OSN Dream11 potential winner:
Real Madrid will start the game as clear-cut favorites.