Real Madrid have the chance to close the gap at the top of La Liga to five points on Saturday evening, when they travel to Pamplona to take on Osasuna.
The hosts have had a great season so far domestically, and this fixture could be replayed in the Copa del Rey final, with Osasuna facing Athletic Club and Carlo Ancelotti’s side meeting Barcelona in the respective semi-final ties.
Real Madrid are without key duo Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema for the fixture, but the big news is that Thibaut Courtois is set to start. The Belgian international has missed the last four matches due to injury, but he is expected to be in between the sticks in Pamplona.
Sport expect a similar defence to the one that recorded a clean sheet at home to Elche on Wednesday, with Luka Modric installed to the starting line-up following a goalscoring cameo against the league’s bottom side.
However, Marca expect Antonio Rudiger to start in place of Dani Carvajal, with Nacho Fernandez to move to right back. They expect Marco Asensio to retain his place after his goalscoring exploits midweek, while Dani Ceballos is set to retain his place, with Eduardo Camavinga likely to drop out.
Osasuna are set to welcome back Barcelona loanee Abde Ezzalzouli. The 22-year-old returns from suspension, having missed last weekend’s goalless draw against Real Valladolid due to a red card picked up the previous week against Espanyol.
The Real Madrid squad will likely have one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 first leg against Liverpool, but full focus must be used against Osasuna, as the hosts look to cause an upset.