Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane has most of his players available for the Champions League quarter final. Reuters

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane will remain on the sidelines for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Wolfsburg on Wednesday (6 April), with manager Zinedine Zidane leaving him out of the 21-man travelling squad. Mateo Kovacic and Alvaro Arbeloa, meanwhile, have both travelled to Germany after the duo were overlooked for the Clasico squad at the weekend. However, the French manager will still need to exclude three players for his final 18-man match day squad.


Los Blancos arrived in Germany on Tuesday morning in sensational mood after securing a crucial victory in the second Clasico of the La Liga season, ending Barcelona's unbeaten run of 39 games, thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. The squad are expected to have their last training session at the Wolfsburg Arena in the evening in order to let Zidane to address his selection dilemmas.

The French manager is expected to field a similar line-up to the one that beat Barcelona, with Casemiro as holding midfield behind Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and the 'BBC 'of Gareth Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo. James Rodriguez and Isco will probably remain on the bench, while the biggest question mark is over whether Dani Carvajal or Danilo will play in the backline alongside Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Marcelo.

Carvajal, who excelled against Neymar in El Clasico, could win the battle here too as he knows Wolfsburg following his spell with Bayer Leverkusen.

The Spaniard said to Realmadrid.com: "I played there twice, I think I remember. Once in the league and once in the cup. Both times we left with nothing, because they beat us in the two games. It's a difficult ground to play at, they put pressure on you a lot. They usually press you very high up. I'm sure it will be an uncomfortable match".

"We're going there thinking that it's only a game. We're going to win, not thinking about the second-leg at our stadium. We have to go out as strong as possible for the first half hour, try to get on top of the opposition and to get a goals. We know that scoring away from home is very important so we'll go for it".

"It's very important to not concede goals. Against Roma we were able to keep clean sheets in both games. The only one where we conceded was against Shakhtar in a strange 20 minutes. This is the key to the Champions League: if you don't concede, you have half a foot in the next stage".