Zidane's credit running out for failing to shake Real up

Joachim Low

In the Champions League they were beaten convincingly at Wembley by Tottenham and failed to top the group leaving them with a very hard last-16 qualifier against Paris Saint-Germain on February 14 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are still without captain Sergio Ramos, who has suffered a setback in his recovery from a calf injury, per Reuters.

Villarreal will be without defender Victor Ruiz due to suspension and remain without long-term absentees Bruno Soriano, Roberto Soriano, Nicolas Sansone, Andres Fernandez and Ruben Semedo. He also lifted the Spanish Supercopa with Madrid in 2017.

Zidane is coming under scrutiny due to Real Madrid's disappointing defence of the La Liga title, in which they are so far behind rivals Barcelona.

"Zidane has kept faith in his starting players, with (Karim) Benzema despite the anger of the supporters, with Marcelo and his intrepid adventures, with Kroos and his downward displays".

The club also appears to have lost some strength in depth after Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez moved on in the summer.

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Pavon, who played 106 times for the club in the early 2000s, said, "To be united in such a phrase with a legend like Zidane just made me proud".

Zidane fielded a number of changes for the visit of Numancia with Gareth Bale - who scored in the opening tie and scored twice against Celta on Sunday - among the high-profile absentees.

"You can analyze it any way you want it, saying it is a crisis or whatever, but we are here to find solutions", said.

Elsewhere, Villarreal crashed out to Leganes after a 2-1 win at home was not enough to see them through. They are fourth-placed and only one point closer to the top than to the drop zone. We are still alive in all competitions and we have to keep moving forward.

Real Madrid reached the Copa del Rey quarter-finals but drew the second leg against lower league opposition for the second round in a row. "In hard moments we need the fans to be on our side".

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