Real Madrid News
Official: Real Madrid squad list to face Villarreal
As Real Madrid look to eke past Barcelona in the La Liga title race, their next challenge takes them to Estadio de la Ceramica where the reigning champions will lock horns with Villarreal.
Ahead of the trip to El Madrigal, manager Carlo Ancelotti has released the squad list that will be travelling for the game on Saturday afternoon.
The big news for Real Madrid ahead of the match against Villarreal is that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who missed the midweek Copa del Rey match against Cacereno with a knock, is back in the squad.
Also returning to the fold are Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr, Luka Modric and David Alaba, all of whom were rested for the midweek clash.
However, Dani Carvajal, who is nursing a muscle overload, does not make the cut after not training today. Fellow right-back Alvaro Odriozola also misses out for Los Blancos after sustaining an injury against Cacereno.
Striker Mariano Diaz is the other absentee for Real Madrid as he continues to recover from an ankle sprain.
📋✅ Our squad for #VillarrealRealMadrid! pic.twitter.com/nNSUQBVLEd— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 6, 2023
Real Madrid News
Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash
In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.
The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.
It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.
Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.
With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.
The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.
One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.
As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.
If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing.