Real Madrid vs Athletic Club: Zinedine Zidane’s Best Available Blancos Lineup

Real Madrid host Athletic Club on Sunday as they look to end a turbulent season on a high. 

The club have had three managers this season and were knocked out of the Champions League, a competition they had won three times in a row, by Ajax in the quarter final.

Madrid are 13 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona and will end the season without a major trophy for the first time in a decade.

Since returning to the club after replacing Santiago Solari five weeks ago, Zinedine Zidane has steadied the ship – winning three out of five games.

Here’s Real Madrid’s potential starting XI for the game against Los Leones.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders


Keylor Navas (GK) – Zidane has made it clear who his number one goalkeeper is, Navas starting all but one game since the Frenchman returned to the Spanish capital. The game he missed, Zidane’s son Luca played, so who knows what the future has in store for Thibaut Courtois.

Daniel Carvajal (RB) – After missing five games with a torn muscle bundle, Carvajal returned to action in the last game against Leganes and should retain his place.

Raphael Varane (CB) – A mainstay of the Madrid defence, Varane has only missed five games this season. The World Cup winner has been linked with a move away from the club but Madrid would be silly to let the 25-year-old leave.

Nacho (CB) – With Sergio Ramos still injured, 29-year-old Nacho should start alongside Varane.

Marcelo (LB) – In his 13th year at Madrid, Marcelo has been linked with a move away to Juventus – to link-up with his close friend Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite question marks about his future, he is still the best left back at the club.

2. Midfielders

Luka Modric

Casemiro (CM) – The Brazilian has started 23 of 33 league games this season and with Toni Kroos ill, he should play on Sunday.

Luka Modric (CM) – Three goals and five assists in the league underline how important the 33-year-old is to Madrid. He is constantly scheming in the middle of the park and shows his class every time he steps onto the pitch.

Dani Ceballos (CM) – A £15m signing from Real Betis two seasons ago, Ceballos has enjoyed more game time this season than last as he grows into the role of a Madrid player.

3. Forwards

Zinedine Zidane,Marco Asensio

Isco (RW) – The playmaker has had a mixed season, with a combination of injuries and being out of favour under Solari limiting him to just nine starts in the league. With Zidane back at the helm, Isco will hope to have a long run in the team.

Karim Benzema (ST) – With 18 goals, Benzema is by far Madrid’s top scorer in 2018/19. He has shouldered the burden left by Ronaldo and doesn’t deserve the criticism he receives from some Madridistas. 

Marco Asensio (LW) – The 23-year-old has contributed to six goals this season and his influence on the team is growing every game.