Having won their first UEFA Champions League game of the 2022/23 season in a dramatic fashion, Atletico Madrid will be keen on getting another victory under their belt when they face Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.
However, Diego Simeone might have to make do with two key players for the clash at the BayArena as Jan Oblak and Jose Maria Gimenez are both doubts for the game, reports Mundo Deportivo.
Both Oblak and Gimenez were unavailable for selection for Atleti when they played Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday night. Ivo Grbic and Axel Witsel deputised for them, respectively against the Galicians and put on solid showings.
While there had been hope that the injured duo could recover in time for the trip to Germany, neither Oblak nor Gimenez were spotted in training earlier today, casting doubts over the availability for the clash against the Bundesliga outfit.
Joao Felix also did not train with the rest of the group today due to a knock he picked up late in the game against Celta. However, the Portuguese sensation is expected to be called up for the clash against Leverkusen as his issue is not deemed to be serious.
Meanwhile, Stefan Savic and new signing Sergio Reguilon continue to remain sidelined for Simeone’s side. The former is recovering from a muscular injury while the latter is in rehab after undergoing an operation for a groin issue.
As for Oblak and Gimenez, it will be interesting to see if Simeone decides to take them along for the trip to Germany. And even in the scenario that they fly with the rest of the squad, their involvement will remain a doubt until close to the game.
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