Real Madrid News
Opponent watch: Liverpool midfielder set to miss Real Madrid clash due to hip injury
In another blow for Liverpool, midfielder Thiago Alcantara has suffered a hip injury that is set to sideline him for four weeks, reports The Telegraph, effectively ruling him out of the UEFA Champions League clash against Real Madrid.
Liverpool are going through a torrid campaign and are under the pump after a series of disappointing results in the Premier League.
Things will hardly get easier for them as the Reds will face defending European champions Real Madrid in the Round of 16 in the Champions League.
And Thiago could now be set to miss the match against Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
The former Barcelona midfielder is believed to have picked up a hip injury earlier this week, which will see him miss the Merseyside derby against Everton on Monday.
Liverpool will be taking on Real Madrid in less than ten days and it is expected that Thiago could be out for four weeks, which means he is unlikely to be available for the first leg of the Round of 16 contest either.
This comes as another hammerblow for Jurgen Klopp & co., who are already dealing with injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate, Roberto Firmino, and Calvin Ramsay while summer loan arrival Arthur Melo has not played a single game to date either.
The 31-year-old Thiago has played 24 times across all competition for the Premier League side this season, registering one assist in the process.
Liverpool will welcome Real Madrid to Anfield on 21st February for the first leg, before the reverse fixture is played on 15th March at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It will be a replay of the last season’s Champions League final, which Real Madrid won 1-0 to lift their 14th European title.
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.