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Real Madrid midfielder likely to miss Osasuna clash, targeting return vs Liverpool – report

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Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is a doubt for the game against Osasuna on Saturday, February 18, as he continues to recover from gastroenteritis, reports MARCA.

The Real Madrid squad returned to training soon after their recent 4-0 win over Elche and while the players did complete a detailed session, the major absentee from the group was the German.

It must be noted that Kroos was taken off in the 74th minute during Madrid’s 5-3 win over Al-Hilal in the FIFA Club World Cup final.

It is said that the player is still recovering from gastroenteritis that prevented him from playing against Elche. And now while he is not completely ruled out, the veteran German is deemed a major doubt for the clash against Osasuna this weekend.

Journalist Carlos Rodriguez even claims that the player does not want to rush himself into a quick return as he wishes to recover well for the all-important UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg tie against Liverpool next week.

That potentially means that Carlo Ancelotti will once again have to shuffle his midfield to a great extent in Pamplona. A lot will depend on how the manager is planning to approach the game ahead of the crucial encounter against Liverpool.

For Kroos, if he is to return against Liverpool, the conundrum will remain as once again, Ancelotti will have to sacrifice someone at Anfield. 

In any way, the focus is currently on the Osasuna game and although Kroos’ absence is, indeed, a low point, the fact remains that the likes of Thibaut Courtois and Vinicius Jr will be available for selection on Saturday. The former has recovered from his injury and the latter has served his suspension.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Elche

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The Santiago Bernabeu is ready for the first time in a fortnight as Real Madrid are set to host relegation-threatened Real Valladolid for gameweek 27 of La Liga. The gap between them and Barcelona was increased to 15 yesternight, and los blancos will be looking to cut it down to 12 to scarce the tiniest bit of hope of defending their league crown.

Carlo Ancelotti has opted to use a highly attacking starting lineup for the clash, with Karim Benzema spearheading the front-three. He is flanked by Marco Asensio on the right while Vinicius Jr retains his place on the left.

Rodrygo also gets the nod to start, probably as an attacking midfielder in what looks like a 4-2-3-1.

Aurelien Tchouameni has been given the nod in midfield, with Toni Kroos forming the double pivot alongside him.

With Antonio Rudiger, Ferland Mendy, and Nacho out injured, Eduardo Camavinga gets the license to start as the left-back, while Lucas Vazquez flanks the defence from the right. The usual suspects — Eder Militao and David Alaba — start in central defence.

Thibaut Courtois was a doubt heading into this game, but has been given the medical greenlight to take his place as the goalkeeper.

Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Tchouameni, Kroos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius; Benzema

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