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Five Atletico Madrid stars could miss the derby against Real Madrid – report



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

A troubling Atletico Madrid side have plenty of issues to work on ahead of the first Madrid derby of the season.

To begin with, Jan Oblak, Jose Maria Gimenez, Stefan Savic, Thomas Lemar and Sergio Reguilon did not train to prepare for the match, reports journalist Pedro Fullana.

This casts major doubt over the participation of the aforementioned players. First up, custodian Jan Oblak has practically forced himself into the situation he is in today. The goalkeeper was injured against Real Sociedad and yet went on to play against FC Porto.

This forced him out against Celta Vigo and Bayer Leverkusen. His understudy Ivo Grbic has done a decent job but the Croatian has let in three goals in the last two outings.

Meanwhile, the unstable defence has been a major concern for manager Diego Simeone since the start of the season.

Axel Witsel and Reinildo have been occupying the space in absence of regular centre-backs and as it seems, Cholo will have to field the same duo against their cross-town rivals as Savic and Gimenez continue to be major doubts for the clash.

The aforementioned makeshift centre-backs are the team’s best bet heading into the fixture, but it must be noted that the team has conceded at least one goal in each of their last four outings.

The left side of the defence is even more troubling since Reguilon, who is still recovering from the pubalgia operation, is ruled out for the fixture. The ex-Tottenham man is yet to make an appearance for his new team and it is clear that it won’t be happening against Real Madrid.

So far, the manager has used the likes of Saul Niguez, Yannick Carrasco and Reinildo in that slot, but it is clear that the position is still lacking authority.

As far as the team’s midfield options are concerned, Simeone has failed to devise a perfect combination so far. In that regard, only Koke and Marcos Llorente are assured of a place but that too if they are fit for selection.

After that, Saul, Rodrigo De Paul, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Lemar come into the picture, but it is clear that a certain Kondogbia has lost his manager’s trust. Furthermore, the issue with Koke remains that the Spaniard looks at his best only when he is backed by Kondogbia.

As far as Lemar is concerned, he is still out injured, which potentially means he is practically out of the fixture in the first place. 

The aforementioned issues are certain to hinder Atletico’s chances against Real on Sunday and it will indeed be interesting to see how Simeone will line his men up.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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