All eyes on the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend as Barcelona and Real Madrid square off in what is an early title-decider. The Catalan giants are perched just above Carlo Ancelotti’s men thanks to a superior goal difference, but El Clasico could prove to be the first of many separators.
However, Madrid have been dealt a huge blow with Thibaut Courtois out injured. The Belgian star has not been included in the squad list for the game, and will be replaced by Andriy Lunin in goal.
Antonio Rudiger picked up an eye injury against Shakhtar Donetsk, but has been deemed fit enough to be a part of the Clasico. The entire first-team defence is fit for the hosts, including Lucas Vazquez.
Dani Ceballos is another name that has dropped out from the squad list owing to an injury.
Karim Benzema was dropped from the squad against Getafe last weekend, but made his return for the Champions League clash in midweek. He was not injured, and is now well-rested to take on Barcelona.
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.