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Key Real Madrid duo remain doubts for Celtic clash – report

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be gunning to bounce back to winning ways after failing to come out on top in their last two matches. Up next for Carlo Ancelotti’s side is the final group game of the UEFA Champions League against Celtic at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ahead of the game though, Real Madrid are continuing to sweat over the fitness of two of their key players in Karim Benzema and Aurelien Tchouameni.

Benzema has missed three games in a row now due to muscle fatigue. While he is not said to be injured, the Frenchman felt pain ahead of the game against Girona and Ancelotti opted not to risk the club captain.

And according to Miguel Angel Diaz of COPE, Benzema remains a doubt for the game against Celtic. The 34-year-old trained by himself on the pitch today and did some work with the ball before training in the gym.

And while the sensations after the session are reported to be good, Los Blancos could continue to be cautious with their approach with the Ballon d’Or 2022 winner and opt not to risk him against the Scottish giants.

As for Tchouameni, the French midfielder withdrew from the squad ahead of Sunday’s clash against Girona due to some discomfort. The 22-year-old summer signing has become a pivotal player since joining the club and his absence was felt in the weekend clash.

Ahead of the Celtic encounter, Tchouameni also trained by himself earlier today and even though he is not carrying any injury, his involvement in the midweek encounter remains ‘complicated’.

An update on their potential availability could emerge tomorrow when manager Ancelotti addresses the press on the eve of the game on Wednesday.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid’s dodgy UCL knockouts record against Pep Guardiola ahead of Man City clash

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Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

With PSG and Borussia Dortmund securing berths in the Champions League semifinals, it is now time for Real Madrid, Manchester City, Arsenal and Bayern Munich to battle it out for the two remaining places.

Man City and Real Madrid will certainly be the headline encounter, with the two teams looking for a win at the Etihad in order to secure a ticket for the semis.

There is much confidence and optimism in the Real Madrid camp heading into this encounter, with Vinicius Junior, in particular, determined to beat the Premier League champions.

Real Madrid’s shoddy record against Guardiola

Real Madrid, though, must approach this game with pragmatism and can’t be too overconfident about their chances.

The Pep Guardiola factor, in particular, will resonate fear in the Real Madrid camp, especially considering the club’s shoddy record against the Catalan coach.

Guardiola strikes fear into Real Madrid hearts (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Indeed, Guardiola is the coach who has been able to eliminate Real Madrid more than anyone else in the Champions League – three times.

The first elimination came in 2011 when Guardiola was in charge of Barcelona. Guardiola was not able to eliminate Real Madrid during his time at Bayern Munich, but at Man City, he has eliminated Los Blancos twice – in 2020 and 2023.

Now, Guardiola is looking to extend his record by eliminating Real Madrid fourth time.

Guardiola vs Real Madrid

As far as Guardiola’s overall record against Real Madrid is concerned, the Catalan mastermind has played against Los Blancos 24 times, recording 13 victories.

Guardiola has lost against Real Madrid only five times and only one of them came during his tenure at Manchester City – in 2022.

Overall, at Man City, Guardiola has been able to best Real Madrid four times in seven encounters.

However, Guardiola’s men will be coming up against a Real Madrid side which has indicated many times in the past that records do not matter. As such, past records should only be taken with a grain of salt as the two teams lock horns at Etihad tonight.

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