Zidane hints at future as Sevilla clash looms

AFP

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Zidane is in his second stint as Madrid coach and attempting to defend its domestic title.

But speculation is never far away at Los Blancos, and Zidane did not shy away from links to former club Juventus earlier in the season.

The Frenchman was asked again about his plans on Sunday (AEST), though, and replied: "I'm going to make it very easy for the club, because it has given me everything.

"But the theme is Sevilla, that's all. Sevilla and what's left of LaLiga."

Second-placed Madrid os facing fourth-placed Sevilla on Monday (AEST) after leader Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with Barcelona on Sunday (AEST), leaving the door ajar for Madrid to go top of the table and potentially claim the title with three matches left.

Madrid has won the past four LaLiga meetings against Sevilla and is unbeaten in 11 at home to the same side, scoring 3.4 goals per game on average.

It is their longest ever stretch of consecutive home league victories against the Andalusian outfit.

But Los Blancos must move on from a disappointing result in midweek when they exited the UEFA Champions League to Chelsea.

"We know what we're playing. That's four finals," Zidane said. "We have to forget about the [UEFA] Champions League now and focus on what we have left."

Madrid will again have to contend without captain Sergio Ramos, who has suffered a hamstring injury – his third setback of the season.

But Ramos had already missed three of Madrid's previous games against top-four opposition this term and it is unbeaten in all five such matches, winning four.

Zidane said of his team's injury crisis: "It's a concern, because there are so many. Our case is that of the team that has had the most. I'm worried, of course.

"It's a particular year, players never rest, coronavirus, the calendar... That's all there is.

"I hope that by next year they will change and be more normal, with a normal pre-season."

Zidane will be able to call on Eden Hazard, though, after the winger apologised having been pictured joking with his former Chelsea team-mates after this week's defeat.

Hazard has just three goals in 27 LaLiga appearances over the past two seasons and none since January. He has created only 26 chances for four assists and much more is expected from the €100 million ($155 million) signing.

"Eden has apologised and done well. He didn't mean to hurt anyone, which is the most important thing," Zidane said. "There's no more, he's apologised, we've talked and nothing more to say.

"He's going to help us. So far you haven't seen the player inside him. I hope we can see that Hazard soon. He has a contract with Madrid."


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