Real Madrid set to rest Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Malaga; Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal doubts

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane could be without Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal for Sunday evening’s La Liga trip to Malaga, with Cristiano Ronaldo among the players likely to be rested for the trip following midweek Champions League exertions.

Modric appeared to pick up the problem in the first half of Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg at home against Juventus but played on until he was replaced by Mateo Kovacic with a quarter-hour remaining.

Carvajal completed 90 minutes against Juve but also missed training with the group when the team returned to work on Friday.

The club also said Real Madrid Castilla full-back Alvaro Tejero joined the first team for training and that Nacho is continuing to recover from an injury that has kept him sidelined since a victory over Las Palmas on March 31.

Ronaldo has been rested for three of Madrid’s last four away trips and is again expected to sit out the game at La Rosaleda, where he scored as his Madrid clinched the La Liga title on the final day last year.

Madrid, who have only been beaten once in the last two decades at Malaga, are fourth in the table but have almost certainly secured qualification for next year’s Champions League given fifth-place Real Betis are 15 points behind with just seven games remaining.

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