Under-Fire Zinedine Zidane Asks Real Madrid Players To Stand Up And Be Counted

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane takes his side to Sevilla in La Liga this weekend days insisting he isn’t planning on resigning despite a disastrous recent run. Madrid have won just once in La Liga since October and also missing at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday and should whip Borussia Moenchengladbach next week to advance. Real have drawn with in-form Villarreal, were edged out at lowly Alaves and were hammered at Valencia since their final league victory leaving the champions in fourth place, seven points off leaders Real Sociedad. 

“I have the strength needed to turn the situation around and I’m going to give everything to do this, so are the players,” Zidane said after the loss in Ukraine.

“We need to lift ourselves up and take into accounts the next match. We’re on a poor run, there’s nothing else to do other than take into accounts the next match and go ahead.

“In difficult moments, you need to show character,” he added.

Native press have linked former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Madrid forward Raul forward to the Frenchman’s job.

According to newspaper AS captain Sergio Ramos called a squad assembly this week, with Zidane away, telling team-mates to give “an additional push until the end of the year.”

“This is Real Madrid, gentlemen. Together, we’ve come out of worse,” Ramos reportedly said ahead of the shuttle to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan where they have got missing on six of their final eight visits.

Saturday’s hosts went unbeaten in the Spanish top-flight right through November after a sluggish start to the season under former Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui.

Spain playmaker Suso is set to go back for the Europa League champions after being sidelined for six weeks with a muscle injury.

Player to watch: Joao Felix

The Portugal attacker is on the verge of equalling his final season’s goal tally for Atletico Madrid, when he hit nine.

His 126 million euros fee, second for a teenager in the back of the amount Paris Saint-Germain paid for Kylian Mbappe, put pressure on Felix and he failed to settle in his first crusade in the Spanish capital lacking 13 games through injury.

On Saturday, Atletico host 17th-place Real Valladolid and a win could send them top temporarily with Sociedad heading to Alaves a day later.

Fixtures (all times GMT):

Friday 

Athletic Bilbao v Celta Vigo (2000)

Saturday

Levante v Getafe (1300), Sevilla v Real Madrid (1515), Atletico Madrid v Real Valladolid (1730), Cadiz v Barcelona (2000)

Sunday

Granada v Huesca (1300), Osasuna v Real Betis (1515), Villarreal v Elche (1730), Deportivo Alaves v Real Sociedad (2000)

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Monday

Eibar v Valencia (2000)

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