The surprise revelation that Luka Modric’s three year old suspension will be enacted on Real Madrid’s Supercopa de Espana first leg this Sunday has opened up a big gap in Zinedine Zidane’s plans.
A selection headache has now been created as the coach must decide who to replace the Croatian and how far to stray from his original plans.
After a strong pre-season, Mateo Kovacic may be the natural replacement for countryman Modric, continuing his form from the USA with his busy style well suited to a Clasico.
Marco Asensio will have something to say about that, especially as he seeks to continue his record of scoring on his debut in major finals.
Finally, Cristiano Ronaldo is lurking in the background with intent to realign Real’s BBC frontline that has been absent since the final Clasico of last season, on April 23.
However the winger only managed ten minutes of the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night and is unlikely to be ready for a starting berth.
Kovacic, therefore, is the logical option, but logic and Madrid do not always go hand in hand as the prestige of silverware on top of a Clasico emphasises a tough decision for Zidane.