MADRID, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has to overcome an injury crisis ahead of his side's difficult visit to Villarreal on Saturday afternoon.
Villarreal are currently flying high in La Liga in second place behind Real Sociedad, while their attacking duo of Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer is the most effective pair in the league with nine goals between them in nine games.
It's not the moment for Real Madrid to suffer a crisis in defense, but Zidane has lost captain Sergio Ramos with a hamstring injury he picked up playing for Spain, while Raphael Varane is a doubt after suffering a knock playing for France.
Nacho Fernandez will be able to play in central defense after overcoming a hamstring injury he suffered against FC Barcelona a month ago, while Eder Militao was given the all-clear on Thursday after almost three weeks out with the coronavirus.
If Varane is unable to play, Nacho and Militao will play in central defense, while Dani Carvajal should return at right back after two months out with a knee problem, but Zidane will worry that all three are lacking full match fitness against one of the sharpest attacks in La Liga.
Casemiro is another player who should be able to play after overcoming the coronavirus, but he too has also missed several training sessions. Meanwhile Fede Valverde is out for around a month after cracking a bone in his shin in the 4-1 defeat in Valencia a fortnight ago, while Karim Benzema is struggling with a muscle problem.
Speaking to the press on Friday afternoon Zidane admitted he was unhappy with such a packed fixture schedule.
"It's going to be hard until the end of the season, but it's the reality we have to live with ... We have to prepare well and try in every game we play, although every game is difficult," he admitted.
Zidane also admitted that he had taken part in a meeting of coaches about the issue.
"We held a meeting to try and change something ... I think the players' heath is important and it is important they can rest well so they can give a good performance," said the Real Madrid coach. Enditem