Rodriguez may make last Madrid appearance in Celta game

Madrid, Aug 26 (IANS) Real Madrid’s attacking midfielder James Rodriguez could make his last appearance for the Spanish football giants when his side entertain Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium here on Saturday.

Although Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted that Rodriguez will stay at the club, the fact is with the arrival of youngster Marcos Asensio, he has slipped in the pecking order, reports Xinhua.

That was made clear during Madrid’s opening day 3-0 away win to Real Sociedad when he was forced to wait his turn on the substitutes’ bench, even though regular strikers Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo were out injured.

When Benzema and Ronaldo return, Rodriguez will be further away from Zidane’s plans.

With interest from England, Rodriguez could decide to try his fortunes elsewhere if he is omitted from the first team again on Saturday.

Zidane is likely to name an unchanged attack on Saturday with attackers Asensio and Alvaro Morata keeping their places in the side.

The only possible change in the starting line-up is the return of Pepe for Rafael Varene in central defence, despite the Frenchman’s assured performance a week ago.

Meanwhile, Kiko Casillas will continue in goal as Keylor Navas completes his recovery from an ankle surgery.

Celta Vigo finished sixth in La Liga but conceded seven goals at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in their away match last season.

They will be anxious to avoid a similar defeat after losing their opening match of the new La Liga campaign 0-1 at home to newly-promoted Leganes.

That surprise loss means a heavy defeat in Madrid could leave them at the bottom of the table without a point after two matches.

–IANS

gau/sam/bg

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