Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that he will look to Castilla players during the title run-in amid a mounting injury crisis.
The Blancos are sitting third in La Liga with three fixtures left to play and cannot afford any more slip-ups in their bid to close the gap on leaders Atletico Madrid.
However, Zidane will be short on defensive options for Real's trip to Granada on Thursday, with Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho and Ferland Mendy all set to miss out through injury, and has admitted that he may need to call up a few players from the club's B team.
- Phil Jones: Can Man Utd's footballing punching bag ever rebuild his career?
- Santiago Munoz: Newcastle's new teenage signing out to write his own scripts
- Is Chelsea boss Tuchel the best in-game coach in world football?
- 'Grealish is made for the big stage' - Man City star needs to justify £100m pricetag as Guardiola prepares to run the gauntlet
What's been said?
The Frenchman says he is in regular contact with Castilla head coach Raul regarding which players could be ready to step up to senior level.
"The first team is important, but also Castilla, who are playing a lot," Zidane told a pre-match press conference.
"But, if we need players then we’ll always take players from the B team.
"I think that’s good for everything. I’m in total communication with Raúl about these things.”
The state of play in La Liga
Atletico are in pole position to win their first title since 2013-14 as they sit one point clear of second-placed Barcelona having played a game less.
However, Real are only a point further back in third after the same number of matches as their city rivals, and will move into first if they beat Granada and Diego Simeone's side drop points against Real Sociedad on Wednesday night.
Zidane's outlook on the title race
After the Blancos' clash with Granada, Zidane will prepare his side for another away fixture against Athletic Club on Sunday before they wrap up their campaign against Villarreal at Santiago Bernabeu on May 23.
The Real boss insists he won't consider the season a failure if they fail to defend the Liga crown, but still believes his players are capable of getting over the line.
"We can win the league or lose it. The most important thing is to give everything in every game, and we have done that. We are having good performances," Zidane added.
"The season is very long. I am not going to say it is a bad season, because that's only what happens when you don't give everything on the pitch.
"In 2017 we won the league, it was a phenomenal season but we lifted the title in the last game and we could have lost it.
"The most important thing, what you can control, is what we do."