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Rayo Vallecano manager claims key absences will affect Real Madrid in tonight’s clash

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Rayo Vallecano coach Andoni Iraola has assessed Real Madrid’s current situation ahead of matchday 13 of the La Liga 2022-23 season, saying that absence of key players like Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos will hurt the defending champions a big time.

Both Benzema and Kroos have been left out of the travelling squad that face Rayo tonight at Estadio de Vallecas. The former played his part in the 5-1 win over Celtic in the Champions League, but missed training ahead of the game, meaning that he is not match-fit.

Kroos, on the other hand, is suspended from the game after picking up the first red card of his career against Girona in the 1-1 draw. Apart from the duo, Antonio Rudiger is also set to miss the trip after picking up a knock in the buildup for the Rayo game.

Reacting to Real Madrid’s troubles, Iraola analysed: “Benzema’s absence affects them less because they’ve been without him for several games and the team is achieving a very high level of performance,” he was quoted as saying by MARCA.

He added, “Kroos’ absence is important because he gives them a lot of control, he is very intelligent and knows how to interpret football perfectly. Very difficult, but it’s good for us.”

Iraola also said that his team has a great chance to beat the defending champions and for that, he will make sure Carlo Ancelotti’s men do not play at their usual pace.

“We will have to do a lot of things well. We cannot let them play at the pace they want throughout the game. There will be moments when they will push you more, but we will have to pass them and take advantage of our good moments. The key is going to be not to make mistakes and to stay focused,” he said.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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