Manchester United travel to Madrid on Wednesday to take on Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg. The two sides have not face off in an official match since 1991, with a few familiar faced locking horns.
For Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, two friends, it will be the chance to take on each other for the first time in their career. After playing for the French national team for several years together, the two have developed quite the chemistry but have not crossed paths with their clubs.
Ahead of the mouth-watering clash, Griezmann and Pogba spoke to each other on a video call. A screenshot of said call was shared on Instagram by the Man United midfielder.
Griezmann has been in incredible form in the Champions League despite injury trouble, scoring four goals and assisting one.
The 30-year-old was sidelined for the last seven games, returning to the bench vs Osasuna on the weekend. He might not get the nod to start against United, but an appearance off the bench is pretty much guaranteed.
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
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