Zidane concern over Casemiro and Marcelo absences


Zinedine Zidane concedes Real Madrid do not have a like-for-like replacement for Casemiro as the holding midfielder begins his recovery from fractured left leg.

The Brazilian suffered what appeared to be a relatively minor injury during last weekend's 2-0 win at Espanyol, but tests showed a fracture to his left fibula, with reports in Spain suggesting he will be out for three weeks.

Casemiro's compatriot Marcelo will also miss Saturday's LaLiga trip to Las Palmas having limped out of Wednesday's 1-1 draw against Villarreal with a calf problem.

"I've always worried when players get injured. Especially when they are players who are in the starting line-up, like Marcelo and Casemiro," said Zidane, who saw hopes of a record LaLiga winning run scuppered by the midweek draw.

"At the end of the day, we can't do anything about it. I hope the injuries are not as important as they seem and they are back quicker than we think.

"We have got a big squad to make changes and that is what we are going to do.

"You [reporters] don't see clear substitutes for those players, but I do. I know who is going to play, let's see tomorrow.

"In the end you have to plan from game to game. You can try to plan long-term, but things happen - like the injuries to Marcelo and Casemiro - and it changes everything.

"It's clear that perhaps in the position of Casemiro there is no one exactly like him, but we will just make some changes and be a little bit different."

Despite Madrid lacking Casemiro's enforcing qualities for the immediate future, Zidane insists their overall plan will not alter.

"It's not going to be different without Casemiro, our idea is always the same depending on the possession we have," he explained.

"Our idea is to get the ball, play in the opposition half - do these kind of things. So we will see if we do any differently, but the idea is always the same. It doesn't matter which player plays."

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas is part of Madrid's matchday squad for the first time this season following an Achilles injury and Fabio is back in training, but does not travel after a long-term thigh absence.

"Yes, Kaylor is going to be in the squad with us," Zidane confirmed.

"Coentrao is training normally. He is in good shape, perhaps he is just adapting a little bit having not played for five or six months, but he is in good shape.

"I don't like to say he is 100 percent, but we are happy with him."