Real Madrid return to the Bernabéu on Saturday in what will be a very exciting matchup against Celta Vigo because it is the first match Zidane will manage since his return to the club earlier this week.
This is a must watch as we can get an idea of Zidane’s managing of the squad after taking the reigns back from Lopetegui and Solari.
Real won their last league match last weekend, a rather odd match overall which Real won 4-2 over Valladolid on the road in what was Solari’s last match as manager. These two clubs met back in November at the Balaídos, where Real won 4-2.
Celta haven’t won a league match in five, losing four times and drawing once. These poor results that the club has struggled with all season has put them 18th and in a relegation spot, though they are only one point behind both Villarreal and Valladolid.
Real are firmly in third with six points held over Getafe, but trail five points behind Atlético and 12 points behind Barcelona. With the league seemingly out of reach, Zidane’s focus will be ensuring a Champions League spot for next season and connecting his identity back with this squad.
Marcos Llorente remains out of the Madrid lineup on Saturday, as do Lucas Vazquez, Vinicius, and Dani Carvajal.
Celta will be without Iago Aspas who remains injured.
There are suspensions for both sides in this match, Real will be without Casemiro and Celta without Hugo Mallo.
Courtois; Odriozola, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Bale, Asensio, Benzema
It’s a bit questionable how Real will line up with Zidane back in the picture on Saturday. He has quite a few injuries and a suspension to deal with in his squad.
With both Casemiro and Llorente out, it will be interesting to see who he goes with as a defensive midfielder, likely between Ceballos and Valverde. He didn’t utilize much of Ceballos during his first tenure so it’ll be interesting to see if that changes.
The other is starting Bale, another player he has been rumored to have issues with in the past. With Vazquez out he has little options besides Bale, he could start Brahim or even put Benzema and Asensio up top with Isco behind them.
Blanco; Vazquez, Araujo, Costas, Hoedt; Mendez, Yokuslu, Lobotka, Boufal; Boudebouz, Maxi Gomez
Real Madrid-Celta Vigo 3-1
Given Celta’s inability to get a win since February 2 and the fact they are in a relegation spot, Real are clearly the favorites here at home. Obviously, a win’s not set in stone but Zidane will be eager and determined to get a win in his first match back.
Real at this point just want to make sure they stay in the top 4 for the rest of this season and retool in the summer under Zidane’s likely reconstruction project. It will be just fun to watch Zidane familiarize himself again with the team and start forming them in his vision.
Regardless of the outcome, the main takeaway is just to see how Zidane manages in his first match back since last summer. Though a win is always nice to make for a nice weekend and welcome back.