Bale, Modric To Face Former Club As Real Madrid Take On Tottenham In The Champions League
Although the club’s record signing Gareth Bale will have to watch the game from the stands as he recovers from the calf injury he suffered against Borussia Dortmund in Madrid’s last Champions League game, Modric will almost certainly be in Zinedine Zidane’s starting 11.
Speaking in the Spanish press at the weekend, Modric praised Zidane’s work after the coach’s 100th game in charge.
“He has brought us calm and stability; he is special,” said Modric of the Real Madrid coach.
The Croatian was rested as a precaution in Saturday’s win in Getafe after being on international duty and will take his place alongside Tony Kroos and Casemiro in the side. Casemiro was also rested at the weekend and will replace Marcos Llorente.
Real Madrid have had a positive start to the defense of their title with a comfortable victory at home to APOEL Nicosia and a 3-1 triumph away to Borussia Dortmund and a win over Tottenham would give them nine points from their opening three group matches and all-but assure their place in the knockout stage of the tournament.
Tottenham have also had a flying start in Europe with a win over Borussia at Wembley and a triumph in Nicosia thanks to a hat-trick from striker Harry Kane.
The England captain has been in brilliant form this season with six goals in the Premier League and five in Europe and is clearly the man Madrid central defenders Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane will have to watch.
Kane’s fellow England international Dele Ali will miss the trip to Madrid through suspension, while Danny Rose, Dembele and Wanyama are injured to limit coach Mauricio Pochettino’s options to rotate his squad.
Meanwhile Real Madrid will be without Mateo Kovacic and Dani Ceballos due to physical issues and Zidane will have to decide whether to give a vote of confidence to young right back Achraf or to play the more experienced Nacho Fernandez on the right of defense.