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Blow for Real Madrid as key duo unlikely to recover in time for Liverpool clash

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Image

Real Madrid have unveiled their 23-man squad that will travel to Anfield to face Liverpool during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash.

Karim Benzema, who trained individually during the match preparations in Madrid, has been added to the squad. But both Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni have been ruled out and will miss the Liverpool clash.

According to Diario AS, Kroos has not recovered from the gastroenteritis he was suffering from and the one which prevented him from featuring in recent matches. The same can be said of Tchouameni, who is suffering flu.

The Frenchman was omitted from the Real Madrid starting eleven at the last minute ahead of Real Madrid’s game against CA Osasuna. His extended absence could pave the way for someone like Dani Ceballos to step in.

Ceballos has been in the form of his life since the turn of the year. Although Real Madrid do not consider him a proper long-term option, as far as the role of an undisputed starter is concerned, the former Arsenal has still won hearts with his performances in recent weeks.

This means Ceballos is favourite to operate in the double pivot for Los Blancos this coming week. Eduardo Camavinga is another option for Ancelotti, as the Frenchman has also impressed with his performances and versatility in recent weeks.

Nevertheless, the absence of Tchouameni and Kroos will serve as a major blow for Real Madrid as they look to overpower the Liverpool press and gain an advantage in the first leg.

On the brighter side of things for coach Ancelotti, he may have the option to deploy Benzema in the number nine role. The veteran striker certainly has the quality to make an impact in the LFC defence, but whether or not he will be fit enough to play the ninety minutes or even start the game remains to be seen.

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Real Madrid News

Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.

Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.

Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.

Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla

As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.

Defence

Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.

In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.

On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.

Rudiger to return after a brief spell on the sidelines (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.

Midfield

Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.

Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.

Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.

Attack

As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.

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