Luka Modric
Luka Modric

“Following the tests carried out today on our player Luka Modric by Real Madrid’s medical department, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury to the adductor in his right leg. His recovery will continue to be assessed,” a recent statement from Real Madrid read.

This statement meant that, the injury concerns for the club were aggravated ahead of their LaLiga match against Levante.Their mid-field, which generally picks itself, is suddenly short of options.

Modric played for Croatia against Azerbaijan on Monday, but upon his return to the Spanish capital he didn’t train with the full group. Casemiro and Fede Valverde both came back from international duty only in the late hours on Wednesday, and have very little time to recover before the Levante fixture. Isco is already sidelined due to injury.

Real Madrid now have only one out and out mid-fielder who is fully fit, in the form of Toni Kroos. James Rodriguez might not play in his preferred no. 10 role amidst these injury concerns. New marquee signing Eden Hazard might be fielded in a deeper role. These are all probabilities and we have to wait till Sunday to find what exactly is spinning in Zinedine Zidane’s mind.

It’ll also be interesting to see what formation the Frenchman goes in with. Though 4-3-3 has been the preferred formation for the Los Blancos, he also has the option to go in with a 4-4-2, with one of the full backs offered a higher role in absence of mid-fielders. Going in with 3-4-3, a system he has tried in the last few days of pre season or tinker it a little and going in with a 3-5-2 cannot be discounted.

Zidane, apart from the league match, will also have to think about the Champions League opener against PSG, and will have to manage the players’s workload accordingly.

REAL MADRID SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Alphonse Areola and Altube.

Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Militão, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Marcelo and Ferland Mendy.

Midfielders: Toni Kroos, Casemiro and James Rodriguez.

Forwards: Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vázquez, Luka Jović, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo.