Friday, September 18, 2020

Rodrygo to sit out El Derbi as Real Madrid and Zidane look to Hazard

SoccerNews in La Liga 27 Sep 2019

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Rodrygo Goes will not feature for Real Madrid in El Derbi against Atletico Madrid in LaLiga on Saturday as Zinedine Zidane manages his workload.

The teenage Brazilian forward impressed on his senior debut on Wednesday, scoring Madrid’s second goal just 93 seconds after coming on as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Osasuna that put them top.

But Rodrygo will play for the club’s second-string Castilla side on Saturday versus Rayo Majadahonda instead of turning out amid the white-hot atmosphere of the Wanda Metropolitano.

“We know what we’re doing with Rodrygo and today he trained with Castilla, tomorrow he’s going to play with Castilla,” head coach Zidane told a pre-match news conference on Friday.

“He’s a first-team player and I’m very happy with what happened the other day.

“But we and he knows we’re going to go bit by bit with him. We had already taken the decision [over him playing for Castilla this weekend] and for the next game we will see.

“Tomorrow he will play with Castilla and he is very happy.”

It means plenty of the onus will fall upon another recent recruit, Eden Hazard.

The Belgium attacker has suffered an injury-interrupted start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu and is yet to play a full 90 minutes after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Hazard was as an unused substitute against Osasuna, but Zidane has no doubts about his capacity to make an impact on the big occasion.

“Listen, we know the quality of player we have and we know that he’s going to deliver,” he said.

“He did it the other day in Seville. I’m sure everyone expects a lot from him, he knows that.

“We’re supporting him, he’s with us. Game by game I’m sure he’s going to be the player that we want him to be here in this Real Madrid team.”

Zidane refused to disclose who would start in goal after Alphonse Areola came in for Thibaut Courtois last time out, while Luka Modric and Isco returning to training following muscular complaints boosts his creative options.

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