MADRID, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Zinedine Zidane returns to the Real Madrid dugout on Saturday as his side face Celta Vigo in the Liga Santander.
Zidane's return to Real Madrid, just over nine months after resigning as coach in the wake of last May's Champions League win has helped to change the atmosphere from one of depression to euphoria virtually overnight.
Although his return probably comes too late to salvage anything from this season as Madrid are 12 points behind Barcelona and five behind Atletico Madrid, a strong finish will maintain the 'feelgood' factor and set the basis for the next campaign.
The positive atmosphere will be reflected in the Bernabeu on Saturday with somewhere close to a full house, whereas in other circumstances we could have been looking at a lot of empty seats and although the fans will be looking for a home win, it is how Madrid play and who plays for Madrid which will be more important in the long run.
Isco was virtually ostracized as his relationship with Solari deteriorated and his return would most certainly show a chance of ideas with Zidane's return. Likewise Marcelo's defensive failings had led to Solari preferring youngster Sergio Reguilon at left back, but with Zidane reportedly keen to stop the Brazilian joining Juventus, Marcelo could be back in the side on Saturday.
Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius Jr, Marcos Llorente and Dani Carvajal are all injured, which means Alvaro Odriozola, who has not played much in 2019, should get a chance at right back, while Llorente's injury coupled with Casemiro's suspension means there is a hole to fill in central midfield.
Tony Kroos and Luka Modric will start and that could give Isco his chance, while youngster Fede Valverde may also have options as could Davi Ceballos, who many signal as one of the losers due to Zidane's return after his criticism of the coach following his departure.
Meanwhile Zidane's attitude to Gareth Bale, who he also had a difficult relationship with, is also going to be under intense scrutiny, especially if Bale doesn't start.
Celta travel to Madrid after a home defeat last weekend to Betis took them into the bottom three and they are still without their best player, Iago Aspas. A defeat would see them sink further into trouble, but with the mood at the Bernabeu now, anything other than a home win would be a huge surprise.