The team had their final training session before meeting Eibar tomorrow.
Lukita has been diagnosed with an injury to the articular cartilage in his left knee. Boooo! He and Fabio worked out indoors. Casemiro continues his recovery and Sese was given the day off.
“We know the situation we’re in and we have to start the game strongly against Éibar”, he added.
Zidane was at the press room in Real Madrid City to discuss the clash against Éibar which will see his team looking to maintain top spot. The Whites’ coach confirmed that Isco will play and explained the keys to victory: “We’re playing at home, we know the situation we’re in and we’ll have to make sure we start the game strongly. It will be difficult because our opponents will want to get something from the game. I’m only interested in what we’re going to do. Our idea is to get back to winning ways and do all we can to win the match, from the 1st until the 90th minute”.
“Our possession dropped in the match against Dortmund. It’s always our intention to keep the ball. With the players we’ve got, we’ve got to retain possession, but that’s not a guarantee of victory. What we want to do is win the game, create chances and be more efficient. Perhaps we’ve lacked the winning goal in recent games. We’ve got to turn things around and we’re working on that”.
“They’ve scored two goals against us in the last two games, which is something that hadn’t happened for a long time. We always analyse the matches, knowing that we haven’t lost. That’s the positive element, and now we’ve got to get back to winning ways. We always want to win and the important thing is to be at 100% from beginning to end. I’m not worried about the goals we’ve conceded in recent games”.
“Isco is going to play tomorrow because he’s fit and he’s an important player. As the national manager said, if he’s in that squad it’s for a reason. It was difficult for him to get the call-up with the number of minutes he’s played. I like Isco, he’s got quality, he’s fit now and is training without any discomfort”.
“I’m not worried about it, it’s something we need to improve. When you’re in control of the game and then you draw… We’ve got to change that. We’ve created a lot of chances to score and we’ve got to think about putting those chances away. I’m not concerned, it’s the way it is and we’ve got to push on from it now”.
Benzema and the national team
“That’s a problem for the national coach. He’s an important player, he’s very good and I’m not going to get involved in the national team selection. I know that he’ll be with us and he’s going to be able to work here. I want to see the best of Karim again and we’re slowly getting back to that. I haven’t discussed this with him. We talk about how he can improve his performances”.
“Coentrão has some discomfort. He’s feeling it after a lot of work. He’s been working with us for almost three weeks now so it’s nothing unusual after four or five months out. We won’t risk him. When he’s fit he’ll be back in the squad. We’ve got enough players to step in for Marcelo, who is getting back fit slowly and he’s feeling better. He’ll be back with us after the international break”.
Analysis of the Dortmund game
“In Dortmund it was frustrating for the players because the way they played deserved better than that result. I’m pleased with the way they played. I analyse every game and after the one in Dortmund there was very little to say. Now we’ve got another clash against another opponent, who play differently. We know what to expect tomorrow and we’re ready for this match. It won’t change what we’re setting out to do. We’re going to play and try and win the match”.
“This is Madrid. I was a player here and I’ve lived this for many years. All I’m interested in is finding solutions and working out why we were lacking something against Las Palmas and Dortmund. In Las Palmas it was a lack of concentration; the Dortmund match was different. There is expectancy at this club every day. People might appreciate that we won the Champions League, but if we don’t do things right tomorrow, I know what might happen. I’m going to try and find solutions to allow us to do things properly. I know where I am”.
“He’s in good shape because he’s very professional. He’s very physically strong. Speaking to him, he says he’s got no problem with playing every three days, he recovers very quickly. He’s very good with the ball and we’re lucky to have a player like him in the team. He knows what I ask of him: to give the others freedom to play and help out defensively. He’s in a different position now without Casemiro and he’s doing well”.
“I’m not concerned. He works hard in training and we all know that we’re going to keep asking him to perform better. When he doesn’t score, people say he’s playing badly, it’s classic. He looks good to me, he needs to play just like everyone else and he’s getting better every day”.
“I think it’s a good thing because playing for your country is the peak for any player. As Madrid coach, when I see 17 or 18 players going out I’m frustrated but that’s normal. I can’t complain, it means they’re playing well. It’s the peak for a player: Madrid and their country”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Casilla and Yáñez.
Defenders: Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Nacho and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Kovacic, Asensio and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez, Mariano and Morata.
And here’s cute picture from yesterday’s training session:
I love seeing them being goofy. Warms my heart.
And now I’m off to Nashville! Have a great weekend and Hala Madrid!