Confirmed Real Madrid XI vs Atletico Madrid: Strong line up from Zidane for crunch clash

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is taking no chances in the Madrid derby against cross-city rivals, Atletico, and has named the strongest Real Madrid squad he has available.

Notwithstanding his omission of Gareth Bale and Rodrygo from the squad entirely, the French coach has gone with an expected and unsurprising starting XI as Real seek the win over the Rojiblancos that will keep them top of La Liga for another week.

Thibaut Courtois keeps his place in goal, with Carvajal, Ramos, Varane and Mendy his defence. Kroos, Modric, Casemiro and Valverde make up a balanced midfield, with Isco set to play a slightly withdrawn and roving role alongside Karim Benzema.

Areola, Militao, Marcelo, James Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez, Luka Jovic and Vinicius Jr. give Zidane plenty of options from the bench too.

Los Blancos go into the weekend with a three-point lead over nearest rivals Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table, and so they will hope to pile the pressure on them with a win ahead of their game against Levante on Sunday night.

Supporters have generally reacted well on social media to the XI, though these fans seem none too pleased by Isco’s selection.

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