Zinedine Zidane drops Thibaut Courtois but recalls Gareth Bale and Isco

Zinedine Zidane drops Thibaut Courtois but recalls Gareth Bale and Isco

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.

Zidane is wasting no time in changing things around at the Bernabeu, with Marco Asensio and Isco making the starting XI on Saturday afternoon.

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

Madrid are 12 points off league leaders Barcelona and are already out of the Champions League. The Frenchman authorised a €50m deal to sign Porto's Eder Militao, and many more names could be set to follow suit.

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Zidane left the Spanish club a year ago after winning the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League title beating Liverpool in the final in Kiev. I have a squad of 25 players and I am going to have to count on all of them, on Courtois, Keylor, Isco.

Zidane's favoured formation was 4-3-3 with Cristiano Ronaldo spearheading the attack, but will have to make alterations without the Portuguese forward, who left for Juventus last summer.

Previous managers this season, Julen Lopetegui and Santi Solari, had tried to begin the process of rejuvenating the squad, benching players who have formed a key part of Madrid's core in recent years, most notably Marcelo, Isco and Gareth Bale.

"We are here to play, there is no punishment or anything like that". Karim Benzema did put the ball in the back of the net but the whistle had been blown for a foul by Gareth Bale in the buildup.

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