After facing their first defeat of the 2022/23 season, Real Madrid will look to produce an immediate reaction when they host Girona at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Los Blancos remain at the top of the La Liga standings but are just three points ahead of Barcelona, who play Valencia later tonight. So, the reigning champions cannot afford any missteps if they wish to stay ahead in the title race.
Ahead of the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Karim Benzema will not be involved due to ‘muscle fatigue’ while also revealing that Federico Valverde, Mariano Diaz, Dani Ceballos and Luka Modric have all returned from their injuries.
And the returning quartet has all been included in the squad for the match against Girona by the manager.
Also named on the list is forward Rodrygo Goes, who did not train with the rest of the team today due to an illness, but Ancelotti stated in his press conference that the Brazilian will be involved on Sunday.
With Benzema unavailable and Rodrygo recovering from an illness, it will certainly be interesting to see who Ancelotti deploys as his striker against Girona. Mariano and Eden Hazard are possible options if the Italian deems Rodrygo is not fit enough to start.
Real Madrid teenage prodigy needs to play more, insists national team manager
The situation with Arda Guler at Real Madrid has become tense in recent days. The Turkish phenom has not been at the receiving end of many minutes despite completing his recovery from injuries, and the player is now getting fed up with his situation.
It is, however, not just Guler who is affected by the situation. With the European Championships coming up, the 19-year-old looks likely to enter the competition with Turkey with no match fitness, and his international federation is far from happy with his situation.
Turkey manager speaks out
Speaking at the recent sponsorship event of the Turkish National Team, head coach Vincenzo Montella was asked to comment on Guler’s situation at Real Madrid.
As a former Sevilla coach and with knowledge of how La Liga works, he understood the circumstances and hoped for the player to see more minutes.
“He is playing very little, but I hope he can do it from now on because he has a lot of talent,” he said, as quoted by SPORT.
Montella went on to reinstate that he still maintains complete confidence in the Real Madrid star’s abilities for the upcoming tournament, despite his drought for minutes.
“We are following him very carefully. We want our players to be in their best physical condition for the European Championship.”
Exit on the cards?
Guler has played only 92 minutes all season and is now vexed by his helplessness. As revealed yesterday, he feels misguided and is unhappy with how the circumstances are currently.
The disappointed star, thus, could seek an exit, potentially on loan, from the club next summer if his situation does not improve.
But with Jude Bellingham and Brahim Diaz both on song, it does not appear like Guler’s chance in Madrid will arrive anytime soon.
Carlo Ancelotti retains faith in the Turkish star, and it remains to be seen if he looks to turn the player’s fortune around in the coming months.