Real Madrid are back in form and several of their fringe players have been contributing to their positive run, which continued with Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Alaves.
Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio have been playing well when given opportunities and both are now making a case for a starting place against Paris Saint-Germain on March 6, while Zinedine Zidane could also play Isco or Gareth Bale in that huge match.
Keylor Navas, Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo will all start in Paris, assuming they are fit and healthy.
The only decisions Zidane really has, therefore, are to pick between Nacho and Raphael Varane at centre-back, to decide if he’ll continue to trust Karim Benzema’s experience and to pick one of Lucas, Asensio, Isco or Bale.
“There are a lot of players who are competing at a great level right now,” the coach said on the subject.
“That means I’m the one with the problem right now, when it comes to picking the lineup.”
The fact Zidane even has a decision to make stems from the fact that Bale is no longer undroppable, although he obviously still has a chance of starting too, as his speed could trouble PSG.
The Welshman returned to the starting XI against Alaves and played well on the left wing.
Then there is Asensio, who has had a stunning February, even if he couldn’t play against Alaves due to toothache.
Just as important as Asensio, though, has been Lucas Vazquez, who has started four LaLiga matches in a row and who has wowed with his explosiveness and impressed with his consistency.
While all three of those players offered a sense of urgency and directness, Isco could provide something different and could help Los Blancos to keep possession at the Parc des Princes, which could be important as they try to nurse a two-goal advantage to the final whistle.
It’s a tricky decision and one that Zidane must make over the next week and a half.