Real Madrid coach defends limited appearance of Isco

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The line-up is expected to be: Keylor Navas in goal; Alvaro Odriozola, Jesus Vallejo, Javi Sanchez and Sergio Reguilon in defence; Marcos Llorente, Federico Valverde and Isco in the middle; and a front three of Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and Vinicius Junior.

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"That division is very underestimated and there are teams that play very good football".

"He's tired and has some discomfort, the games against Eibar and Roma and it took a lot out of him, it's normal that he's exhausted", said Solari.

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The coach also praised his midfielder Luka Modric, who won the Ballon d'Or trophy Monday, noting that the Croatian player "had a wonderful year and he's given everything to Real Madrid and his national team..."

Many have questioned the result given Modric's underwhelming start to the 2018-19 campaign, but Solari has no doubt the Croatian deserves his prize.

The Melilla game will be his first start since Madrid's 5-1 defeat away to Barcelona on 28 October, Lopetegui's final match in charge, and the work that Isco had put in to surpass players like Gareth Bale in the line-up seems to be irrelevant to Solari.

Real Madrid are not going to sell Isco for pennies on the dollar, though - Los Blancos have already established the amount that would convince them to allow the 26-year-old midfielder to leave Santiago Bernabeu. It seems to me that at that age it's more attractive because he can truly value it.

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