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Key Real Madrid star not guaranteed a starting spot against Manchester City

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Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

The absence of Eder Militao was one of the biggest focus points ahead of Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first-leg semi-final clash against Manchester City.

The centre-back had, after all, been the team’s leader at the back all season and to lose him through suspension for the season’s most difficult game was a big blow.

The Brazilian is now back and raring to go for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium. While he was an undisputed starter in the team a few weeks ago, he now finds himself with a good chance of starting on the bench.

AS reports that Ancelotti is second-guessing his decision to deploy Militao as a starter for the second leg, and two factors are behind his dilemma.

For starters, the combination of David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger did a phenomenal job against Pep Guardiola’s side at the Santiago Bernabeu. The English side’s attack appeared blunt for long parts of the game and Erling Haaland was virtually eliminated from the equation.

The second factor, however, boils down to Militao himself. The Brazilian has not helped himself with subpar performances in recent league games, and doubt unsurprisingly has sprung in the mind of Ancelotti now.

Militao’s bearish period began against Girona when he cut a helpless figure against Valentin Castellanos’ four-goal haul. The situation only worsened from there on.

Against Real Sociedad, Militao gifted the opposition an opening goal just after half-time and hurt Real Madrid’s position on the table. He was exceptional in the recent game against Getafe but that does not appear to change Ancelotti’s mind.

Real Madrid must tread a tightrope to get over the line at Etihad, especially given that they do not have a cushion heading into the second leg. On that front, providing continuity to the working combination of Alaba and Rudiger does not sound like a bad idea.

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Real Madrid News

Video – Barcelona fans chant ‘Vinicius d*e’ ahead of their UCL clash

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

In what is starting to become an alarmingly common occurrence, a set of Barcelona fans were spotted hurling abusive chants towards Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr.

Barça will be facing PSG in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal today in less than an hour and in the lead-up to the game, a section of the Catalans’ supporters were seen chanting “Vinicius, die” on the streets.

It is not the first time this has happened, with Vinicius being constantly targeted by not only Barcelona fans but supporters of a number of other La Liga clubs.

In fact, last month, Barcelona fans were seen hurling the same chants before their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie against Napoli.

The same had happened outside Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Montjuic prior to the Clasico in October last year.

Moreover, this past weekend, a Mallorca fan at Son Moix directed racist abuse towards Vinicius’ Real Madrid teammate, Aurelien Tchouameni.

It is shocking and embarrassing that these incidents continue to occur. It remains to be seen if any action is taken by the concerned authorities against those involved.

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