MADRID: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists it is obvious that rivals Barcelona will miss their injured striker Lionel Messi during a three-week layoff, but has injury concerns of his own ahead of Saturday’s trip to Las Palmas.
The five-time World Player of the Year is set to be sidelined for Barca’s trips to Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo in the next week due to a groin strain.
“Messi is Messi. We all know what he can bring to this team,” Zidane said on Friday. “Obviously, Barca are a different team when he is not there.”
However, Madrid have been struck by a double injury blow of their own with a huge Champions League clash at Borussia Dortmund to come on Tuesday.
Brazilian duo Marcelo and Casemiro will miss both trips to Las Palmas and Dortmund as well as Eibar’s visit to the Santiago Bernabeu next weekend.
Both are also expected to miss Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Venezuela early next month.