Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid return to San Siro tonight for the first time since their Champions League victory in 2016. Facing Inter at their home stadium is no doubt will be the most difficult fixture for Los Blancos, and as per the current scenario, they must go to war without some of their best players.
Club captain Sergio Ramos has never been more important for Real Madrid as he is now. The Spanish international suffered a hamstring injury in Spain’s 6-0 thrashing of Germany and has since been recovering.
Madrid have suffered defeats almost every single time the 34-year-old has been absent from the squad in recent Champions League games.
“Well we know how important he is as a player and a person to the squad,” Zidane told reporters via a virtual press conference.
“But we have to break that statistic, we know that. Obviously we’d like him to be here but he isn’t due to injury.
“Everyone we have here though is ready to change that bad record because we know what the situation is.
“This will be like a final for us but we’re ready to fight hard and get the three points.
“Although we have a lot of injuries, we cannot accept a draw. We go out on the pitch to win – that’s very clear and will always be the case.”
In addition to the veteran defender, Real Madrid will also be without Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic upfront. Mariano Diaz will surely be starting tor Madrid in the centre-forward position. Castilla player Hugo Duro could also feature from the bench.
Eder Militao and Raphael Varane will likely make it to the starting XI. However, it is worth noting that their partnership in the absence of Ramos has not been the most reliable.
Zidane could look to start Nacho, who was also a part of Madrid’s 1-1 draw against Villareal over the weekend. Most of the regulars will be there, with Casemiro returning from COVID-19 along with Eden Hazard making another start.
However, an in-form Inter team will be a difficult task for the reigning La Liga Champions. A draw or defeat will only create further pressure to win their last two fixtures against Shakhtar and Gladbach to make it to the knockout stages.