Real Madrid Absences have given him a selection headache
Real Madrid return to LaLiga Santander action this weekend and they have a number of absences as they take on Levante.
Although Eden Hazard is available, they’re missing the suspended Gareth Bale and the injured Luka Modric, Fede Valverde, Isco and Marco Asensio, so Zinedine Zidane may have to come up with a slightly different formation to usual.
Here, we take a look at six potential line-ups and below we have a poll where you can upvote your preferred team.
Zidane tried this kind of system out towards the end of pre-season.
The fact that Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are offensive-minded full-backs means that they could act as midfielders to compensate for the lack of options in this part of the pitch.
There would be three forwards in this system and Zidane could opt for Hazard, Karim Benzema and Lucas Vazquez, although he isn’t short for options up front.
The 3-5-2 would be similar to the 3-4-3, but with one striker less and with James Rodriguez acting in the No.10 role that he thrives in.
Hazard and Benzema would lead the line for Real Madrid, for the first time in a competitive match.
The 4-3-3 has been one of the most-used formations at Real Madrid in recent years, so this would be a familiar system.
It would simply be a case of making a few like-for-like swaps to compensate for the injuries and suspensions, for example with James taking Modric’s spot.
Ferland Mendy played well in his debut against Villarreal, so Zidane may look to capitalise on having two talented left-backs by fielding the Frenchman and Marcelo.
Zidane tried something similar a couple of seasons ago with Marcelo and Theo Hernandez playing together on the left flank.
This would be another way of placing James in his favoured No.10 role, but this would keep a traditional back four.
There would be one space in central midfield needing filled and Lucas Vazquez could be an option.
This would pair Karim Benzema with another No.9 in Luka Jovic.
A potential disadvantage of this, though, would be the fact that Hazard would have to play in a deeper midfield role and not in the area where he’s most effective.