Real Madrid can cope without Benzema and Casemiro - Keylor Navas
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas says his club have a deep enough squad to cover for injured players Karim Benzema and Casemiro in Wednesday's Champions League semifinal second leg at home to Manchester City.
Madrid confirmed that Benzema (hamstring) and Casemiro (hip) will play no part at the Bernabeu, although coach Zinedine Zidane says that Cristiano Ronaldo has recovered fully from his thigh muscle issue and is now 100 percent ready for the game.
Zidane has not revealed which players will replace the injured striker Benzema and holding midfielder Casemiro, but winger Lucas Vazquez is expected to start up front, with either James Rodriguez or Isco coming into a reshuffled midfield which will see Toni Kroos in the deepest position.
Navas told the prematch news conference that everyone in Madrid's squad was capable of stepping into such a big game and playing their part.
"We are all well prepared," the Costa Rica international said. "There are 25 of us working hard since the start. Whoever starts will go out and give their all because if we are part of Real Madrid, we are capable of playing this type of game. We would like to have everyone at 100 percent, but we are going to wait for the coach's decision."
With the tie delicately balanced after last week's 0-0 draw at the City of Manchester stadium, Navas said that his team would go for the win while keeping their composure.
"We have to go out with a winning mentality, as always," he said. "We have to be aware that the game will not be easy. There will be moments when we will attack and others when we will defend. The game is 90 minutes, we have to know how to work and make decisions calmly and with a cool head. I respect all opponents. We go into this game with the same concentration and intensity. The more united we are, the stronger we will be."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan