Real Madrid face a stiff test midweek as they will take on Paris-Saint Germain in a must-win game. Los Blancos trail by a goal after the first leg, and must win against the French outfit by at least two goals at the Bernabeu.
However, all is not well at Pochettino’s camp ahead of the Champions League clash. As officially confirmed by the Ligue 1 club on their website and social media, both Sergio Ramos and Ander Herrera will miss the clash against Real Madrid.
Since his move to PSG on a free transfer, Ramos has had little continuity. The Real Madrid legend has been under pressure with repeated injuries and is still not fit to play. It is a shame, for his return to the Bernabeu was much anticipated.
Herrera, on the other hand, is suffering from an attack of conjunctivitis and will train on his own until the end of the week.
It is not only the visitors who suffer from the absence of starts for the game on Wednesday. Carlo Ancellotti will be without the serviced of Casemiro and Ferland Mendy on the night owing to suspensions.
To rub salt into the wounds, Toni Kross too is doubtful for the clash in Madrid after his recovery failed to progress as expected.
Kylian Mbappe suffered an injury in training but is expected to start on the night nevertheless. With both managers missing key players, the clash is set to become altho more unpredictable.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.