Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Sport | By

Zidane drops Courtois for first game back in charge — Real Madrid

Zidane drops Courtois for first game back in charge — Real Madrid

In his first major decision as Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane has opted to drop goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for this afternoon's game against Celta Vigo in favour of Keylor Navas.

Zidane returned to the Bernabeu just 10 months after departing the Real hotseat after leading the Spanish giants to three straight UEFA Champions League titles.

The 1998 World Cup victor inherits a far different dressing room from the when he left in more ways than one.

Since the end of his first period in charge, Real's success has somewhat faltered, with the holders being knocked out of the Champions League by Ajax at home and trailing Barcelona in La Liga.

Zidane immediately began ringing the changes this week with the signing of promising defender Eder Militao, who will join in the summer, but his immediate concern is which 11 players will take to the field this afternoon.

Zidane left the Spanish club previous year after winning the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League title beating Liverpool in the final in Kiev. "There are of course those who are sometimes going to be left out, who are not going to play".

Courtois was the biggest surprise, given he was bought by Madrid for around 40 million euros ($45 million) last summer and had established himself ahead of Navas under Santiago Solari.

"Isco and Marcelo are both ready to play, they want to play and we will see them play", he said.

As is common practice in Spain, Real's 19-man matchday squad has been confirmed.

Isco is back in the midfield with Asensio and Bale up front with Karim Benzema.

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