Zinedine Zidane confirmed that both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will sit the match against Espanyol. Bale is still in pain after the hard knock he got on his hip last Wednesday while Ronaldo has the flu.
"We don't want to take any chances with them. They are crucial players for us and even though I will start them whenever they are 100% ready to go and available, we don't want to take any chances now," said Zidane during the pre-match press conference.
The French coach did not want to announce who will replace these two players, although Marco Asensio has been Cristiano Ronaldo's backup all season long. Lucas Vazquez or James Rodriguez could replace Gareth Bale on the right wing with either Morata or Benzema starting upfront.
Bale and Ronaldo should be ready for Real's mid-week match against Villarreal. Zidane also explained that he is "very happy" with James' attitude and performances.