Barcelona have also struggled with injuries, losing Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele to knocks. Sports writer Robbie Dunne believes it opens the door for Atletico Madrid to build an early lead in La Liga:
The 27-year-old Isco has featured in both of Real's La Liga matches so far, playing 15 minutes in the win over Celta Vigo and starting the 1-1 draw against Real Valladolid. He's not expected to be an automatic starter under manager Zinedine Zidane, but will likely be a regular part of the rotation.
Isco made 11 starts in La Liga last season, with the majority of his appearances coming off the bench. He played as a winger and attacking midfielder, and can also play in a deeper role when needed.
Lucas Vazquez replaced Isco against Valladolid, and in all likelihood, he'll start in place of the former Malaga man against Villarreal on Sunday. That will be Los Blancos' final match before the international break, and Zidane will hope Isco can return for their next game, on 14 September against Levante.