Real Madrid will likely have to make do without star forward Vinicius Jr. for a period of six weeks due to a thigh injury, reports Mario Cortegana of The Athletic.
Vinicius suffered an injury during Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers defeat to Colombia earlier this week, with the winger having been taken off in the first half itself.
Initial tests carried out in Brazil showed that the 23-year-old had suffered an injury similar to the one he had earlier this season, which had ruled him out for four weeks.
The difference, though, is that the previous injury was on the right thigh and this one affects his left thigh.
But, following tests carried out in Madrid earlier today, it appears that the Brazilian international will be sidelined for around six weeks.
The club is yet to issue an official statement on the matter, but it is expected to arrive sometime later today.
This development comes as a blow for the Merengues, who have an important run of fixtures coming up after the international break.
As things stand, Real Madrid have as many as nine players on the injury list, of whom Dani Ceballos, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Jude Bellingham are expected to be ready right after the international break.
Meanwhile, both Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao are out for the long term.
As for Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, and Arda Guler, they are unlikely to play again in the remainder of 2023 and it appears that Vinicius could also be in the same boat.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo