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Champions League

Real Madrid – La Liga: Zidane will be able to use the international break to work normally

Throughout modern history it has been the case that during international breaks Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training complex becomes a ghost town, as almost all of the senior stars jet off around the globe to fulfil their national commitments, yet in the upcoming break Zinedine Zidane will have the rare luxury of being able to work relatively normally.

COVID-19 restrictions have prevented a number of nations from calling their senior stars up for international duty, and Zidane will only be without seven players, who are set to leave Madrid for the next week.

With a two-legged Champions League tie with Liverpool on the horizon, this is music to Zidane‘s ears, with it possible for him to now conduct normal training sessions which prepare for those fixtures.

Of course, he will be without Thibaut Courtois, Andriy Lunin, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, almost all of whom are guaranteed starters, but that isn’t a disaster.

For much of the pattern work that Zidane will do over the coming week, he merely needs a selection of bodies.

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Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez and Marcelo will all return to full sessions, whilst Casemiro, Fede Valverde and Isco will be able to work in midfield.

In attack, Zidane will have the full complement of Karim Benzema, Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez, although the latter has played most of the season at right-back.

In the coming days a number of academy prospects will play an important role in senior training, most likely Hugo Duro, Victor Chust, Sergio Arribas and Antonio Blanco.

Alvaro Odriozola and Mariano Diaz will also take the time to recover completely from their injuries, although Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard‘s availability is far less clear.

Zidane has given his players two days off before a return to training on Tuesday, with preparations starting on that day for the LaLiga Santander clash against Eibar on April 3.

The aforementioned seven internationals will start to return on March 31, which will give Zidane a significant period of time with them before the April 6 first leg against Liverpool.

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