The 2017/18 season may be young, but already Real Madrid have played five competitive matches and one interesting details has been the fact that Zinedine Zidane has only rotated when forced to.

He became famous for resting his star players as Los Blancos won a league and cup double last year, but he’s only failed to play his preferred starting XI has been when these players were injured or suspended.

As such, just 15 players have started a game so far this season, compared to the 20 players who had started a game after the first five fixtures of the 2016/17 campaign.

In defence, for example, Nacho only played when covering for Raphael Varane against Deportivo La Coruna, with the Frenchman having started the campaign with injury niggles, and when standing in for the suspended Sergio Ramos against Valencia.

Then Dani Carvajal and Marcelo have played all 450 minutes so far, which is telling.

Looking at the midfield, Mateo Kovacic was only given a chance when Luka Modric was suspended for the Supercopa de Espana first leg, while he then replaced Isco in the second leg.

As for Marco Asensio, it might be the case that he was only given his chances – ones he made the most of – because of the five-game suspension of Cristiano Ronaldo.

This, though, could be about to change, given that Real Madrid have an intense September coming up, with seven matches in just 22 days.

As such, Zidane will have to start rotating and Kiko Casilla, Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos look like they’ll be the most likely to rack up some minutes.


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