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Real Madrid ace back in team training ahead of Elche encounter

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid secured an important victory at the end weekend when they swept aside their arch-rivals FC Barcelona 3-1 at Santiago Bernabeu. The win helped them register a three-point lead over the Catalans at the top of the league table.

Despite the win, the Whites had missed a key player in Thibaut Courtois. The goalkeeper was expected to return in time for the clash but was ruled out due to a lack of participation in training.

He had been suffering from sciatica for a few weeks now. It led to the Belgian international missing three crucial matches in La Liga, while he also missed both legs against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League.

However, according to Arancha Rodriguez, Courtois should soon make his comeback to the pitch as he has returned to team training.

This could serve as a massive boost for Real Madrid, who are slated to face on Wednesday. It is a must-win game for Los Blancos, especially with Barcelona breathing down their necks despite the weekend’s defeat.

Andriy Lunin has been deputising for the injured Courtois over the past few weeks. While it will not come as a surprise to see the Ukrainian continue in goal for one more game, there is a slight possibility that Courtois may assume the duties once again.

However, with crucial games coming up, Carlo Ancelotti is likely to proceed with caution as he looks to avoid any unnecessary injuries. Courtois himself will look to take a cautious approach, especially with the FIFA World Cup coming up next month.

The Real Madrid goalkeeper is likely to play a vital role for the Belgian national team as they look to put an end to their curse in the coveted competition.

Courtois was awarded the prestigious Yashin Trophy for the best-performing goalkeeper in Europe last season at the Ballon d’Or Gala last night.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid’s 29-year-old star upset with his situation, desires more clarity on role

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Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images

At Real Madrid, the quest for securing a spot in the first-team lineup involves battling it out with some of the best players in European football.

Competition is generally considered the perfect antidote to complacency and the Merengues‘ immensely talented roster encapsulates that sentiment best.

While injuries have done a number on the team, there is still an abundance of competition in the squad. As of now, the fight for a spot in the starting lineup is most intense among the goalkeepers.

Indeed, since the beginning of the campaign, there has been no fixed goalkeeper with both Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga featuring between the sticks alternately.

However, after being acquired on a season-long loan to fill in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, Kepa is not entirely content with his situation.

Kepa unsatisfied with the unclarity

Indeed, as per The Athletic, Kepa is extremely disappointed with his situation and how the coaching staff at Real Madrid have been handling the matter.

Ancelotti has not clearly explained his reasoning as to which of Lunin and Kepa is currently his first-choice keeper.

And according to sources close to him, Kepa is unhappy and would have preferred further clarification on the matter from the manager.

Lunin in the driving seat

Making a big impression. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Owing to Lunin’s exceptional form lately, he has successfully displaced Kepa as the first-choice goalkeeper.

In fact, Kepa has not started a game since Real Madrid’s clash against Almeria last month in which they leaked two goals.

It is safe to assume Kepa’s frustrations stem from the fact that he initially arrived as the primary keeper to replace Courtois and turned down an offer from Bayern Munich to join the Madrid outfit.

As such, being shunned and having minimal clarity from the coaching staff’s preferred goalkeeper has led to dissatisfaction.

As things stand, Real Madrid have no plans of signing him permanently, given that Chelsea would ask around €20 million for him, something that the club have intentions of paying.

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