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



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

Turkish giants to go all-out to sign Real Madrid outcast – report



There is no way back for Eden Hazard at Real Madrid. The Belgian international has not given the management any reason to have faith in his abilities over his past four seasons at the club and is unsurprisingly the most important departure for the Merengues in the summer.

Hazard has one more year on his contract in Madrid. However, it is clear that Carlo Ancelotti does not trust him and that any potential replacement manager in the summer will echo his stance.

According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Fenerbahce are willing to go all out to sign Hazard this summer. The Turkish side have made the former Chelsea their prime target, yet face a steep task ahead of them.

The 32-year-old is hellbent on seeing out his contract with Los Blancos despite seeing his career sink right before his eyes. It thus becomes complicated for the party to lure away the forward, especially in a competition outside Europe’s top five leagues.

Fenerbahce attempted to sign the winger in the recently concluded winter transfer market. They reached an agreement with Real Madrid but failed to get over the line as they could not convince the player of the move.

The biggest obstacle for the Turkish side will be convincing Hazard to make the move by letting go of his lucrative contract in Madrid. The chances are slim, but not impossible.

Hazard has made just three league appearances and one start for Ancelotti’s side this season in La Liga, a steep fall from last season’s 18 and seven respectively.

His last appearance for the team came back in January when Real Madrid faced Cacereno in the Copa del Rey. In La Liga however, he last played in September 2022 in a 4-1 win over Mallorca.

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