clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kovacic will start against Athletic Bilbao

That's what Zidane said in today's pre-match press conference.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane will make some rotations for tomorrow's match against Athletic Bilbao. The French manager knows that he needs to start managing his whole squad as the Champions League's Round of 16 will begin next week and the players need to have fresh legs twice a week now.

"I can't tell you the Starting XI but I can confirm that tomorrow Kovacic will start the match as we make some rotations," explained Zidane. He added that Isco will be the one staying on the bench and making room for Kovacic.

Kovacic has performed well whenever he's been given the chance to play this season. He's still very young and it will be important for him to get minutes and keep developing as a player.

Zidane also had some words to say about Bale's calf injury. "When a player is injured you are always a bit worried. But no more than normal. He is better every day. It is an issue which needs more time. We are relaxed about it. Gareth is really important player for us, so we will not take risks. It's normal process. Each player has a process, if he feels something, that is it. There is no need to keep going over it. Gareth is an important player for me, but iIf he feels something, we will not risk it. We must give him more time, and that's it," said Zidane.

Zidane confirmed that Marcelo will miss tomorrow's game but did not want to say whether he will be available or not for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Roma. "Marcelo is out for tomorrow's game, then we'll see how he recovers. He is getting better and he was running today," he said.

Finally, Real Madrid's manager also shared his feeling about the Bernabéu potentially hosting the Copa del Rey Final between Barcelona and Sevilla. "That is something for the club to decide. Every country has its own ideas about this, you know that yourselves. It is normal that Madrid fans do not want the final here, if you ask Barca fans they would say the same," he said.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid