Real Madrid travel to face Leganes at the Estadio Municipal de Butarque on Monday as Los Blancos’ revival under Zinedine Zidane faces another test in La Liga.
Madrid have recovered from being eliminated from both the Copa del Rey and Champions League in quick succession with four wins in their last five games, though their recent defeat away to Valencia proved that Los Blancos are still vulnerable.
Leganes are enjoying a strong season in which they have climbed to 12th in La Liga and have gone unbeaten in their last three games.
Here is a selection of Real Madrid’s strongest potential lineup to face Leganes in a tricky test on Monday.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Keylor Navas (GK) – Thibaut Courtois’ continued absence will provide another opportunity for Navas to regain his place on a regular basis, having impressed since returning to the side under Zidane in place of his Belgian counterpart.
Alvaro Odriozola (RB) –
Raphael Varane (CB) – Despite suggestions that he could be on the move in the summer, Varane remains a key figure at the back for Madrid and seems crucial to Zidane’s plans at the Bernabeu.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) – With captain Sergio Ramos ruled out for up to three weeks, Madrid have had to dip into their defensive reserves. Nacho has been something of a regular at right back in recent years as a stand-in for Carvajal, but is likely to fill in for Ramos on Monday.
Marcelo (LB) – Sergio Reguilon had assumed first choice status at left back under Santiago Solari but Zidane has appeared keen to rotate between the youngster and Marcelo since taking the reins once more, and the Brazilian should get the nod for a tough away game at Leganes.
Luka Modric (CM) – Zidane has tended to rotate his side from game to game since taking charge at the Bernabeu, but Modric has remained the one ever-present in Los Blancos’ engine room under the Frenchman and is a hugely influential figure for Madrid.
Casemiro (CM) – Having been an indispensable figure in midfield in recent years, Casemiro has found himself less of a staple at the heart of Madrid’s midfield recently. Zidane opted to start Federico Valverde ahead of the Brazilian last time out against Eibar, but Casemiro should return on Monday.
Isco (CM) – Arguably the player enjoying the greatest renaissance under Zidane, Isco appeared virtually out of the picture earlier in the season under Solari, but has since repaid Zidane’s show of faith with some strong performances. Los Blancos play with far greater fluidity and purpose in midfield when Isco is in the side.
Gareth Bale (RW) – Another player who has regained favour under Zidane, Bale remains one of Madrid’s biggest goalscoring threats and Los Blancos appear far more dangerous with the Welshman in attack. Lucas Vazquez started ahead of Bale last time out, but offered less of an outlet in front of goal and Bale should be restored on Monday.
Karim Benzema (ST) – Despite having endured a less prolific season than he is generally accustomed to, Benzema remains an important figure as the spearhead of Madrid’s attack, with Zidane lacking an adequate alternative at centre forward. The Frenchman scored a match-winning brace in Madrid’s previous game against Eibar.
Marco Asensio (LW) – The long-term injury sustained by rising star Vinicius Junior came as a blow to Los Blancos, but it also provided an opportunity for Asensio to regain his place in Madrid’s attack, and the Spaniard has begun to regain his form under Zidane.