Real Madrid have announced their 19-man squad to face Atletico Madrid in their derby showdown at the Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.
Los Blancos head into the weekend three points clear of nearest rivals Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table, and so they will be eager to avoid any slip ups and preserve that advantage.
It won’t be easy against Diego Simeone’s side though as it ultimately never is, and so the current league leaders will need to be in top form to secure all three points.
Unsurprisingly, they’ve picked a strong squad for the encounter as seen in the club’s tweet below, but there are some notable absentees.
Neither Eden Hazard nor Gareth Bale are included, but as reported by AS, while Hazard is seemingly not yet ready to feature as he continues his comeback from injury, no such specific explanation is provided for Bale’s absence.
As per The Times, the Welshman has been linked with a return to Tottenham ahead of the transfer deadline on Friday, but both Zinedine Zidane and Bale’s agent have seemingly shot down that suggestion, as noted by Sky Sports.
Nevertheless, his absence from the squad this weekend will likely raise eyebrows, as it remains to be seen whether or not that’s a hint of a possible deal still being in the works, or perhaps Zidane seemingly felt as though the 30-year-old wasn’t best placed to feature.
Meanwhile, as seen in the tweets below, many Real Madrid fans weren’t impressed with the snub of Brahim Diaz either, as he has failed to make the cut yet again.
Playing time has been limited for the youngster so far this season, and so it remains to be seen whether or not things change moving forward as a January exit seemingly isn’t on the cards at this late stage.
— Real Madrid C.F. ???? (@realmadriden) January 31, 2020
Ibrahim diaz >> Rodrigo bale Vasquez
— Osman MEHAOUAT ???? (@wikistage_souf) January 31, 2020
I’m disappointed…. No brahim..
— Eckmond (@Eckmond) January 31, 2020
Oh fuck! Where is brahim?
— ? (@ibayz10) January 31, 2020
Seriously, No Brahim?
I mean I love Zidane but common be reasonable zizou.
I’m tired of Vazquez running around aimlessly on the pitch for fuck sake.
— Yebz? (@YebzBaba) January 31, 2020
I’m disappointed…. No brahim.. why why ????
— kobbeBryantjnr (@kobbeBryantjnr) January 31, 2020
Brahim should be here ffs
— Lazy Introvert? (@Dejji_) January 31, 2020
No Brahim, no Rodrygo?
— Gnashiru ?????? (@TheDNAofficial) January 31, 2020
No Brahim yet again.
I’d love a 442 with Jovic and Benzema upfront
— Mahmoud Iya (@nibras_iya) January 31, 2020