Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane claims that Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez will not be available for the club's trip to Eibar on Saturday after being selected to play for their national teams next week.
Both players are coming off the back of injuries which has seen game time limited for them this season, but Bale and Rodriguez have been given a clean bill of health as Real Madrid prepare for their match at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium.
Even with Bale and Rodriguez fully fit, however, Zidane has explained that neither player will make an appearance against Eibar and appeared to blame their respective nations for his selection headache this week.
"It's not that they're injured, they're not available to play," Zidane said, quoted by Marca. "They're going to go off with their national teams and then they five or six days... we'll see if they're ready to play with their national teams."
Zidane didn't explain why next week's international break has affected his team selection against Eibar, but both players have been left out of their squad this weekend.
Summer signing Luka Jović was also a surprise absentee due to a last-minute muscle injury, while Vinícius Júnior has made his return to the squad which has travelled to the Basque Country.
Real Madrid are coming into the match off the back of a 6-0 win in the Champions League, but they've only won two of their last five matches in La Liga.
With Barcelona and Atlético Madrid also struggling in the league, Real Sociedad have moved to the top of the table thanks to their 1-1 draw against Leganes on Friday.
Just five points separate the top nine teams in La Liga and there is expected to be a lot more movement in the table ahead of the international break.
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