Real Madrid endured a tough weekend, having been held to a goalless draw by Rayo Vallecano.
What was more concerning for fans was the injury of Jude Bellingham. The Englishman sustained a knock on his left shoulder, even though he was able to play the entire game.
Speaking after the game, Carlo Ancelotti assured fans that the knock is not serious and that he was hoping to have the player available on Wednesday.
Jude Bellingham unlikely to play vs Braga
Speaking to El Chiringuito, Edu Aguirre claims Jude Bellingham is unlikely to feature against Braga this midweek.
This can be a precautionary measure from Real Madrid as the club do not want their star man to aggravate the shoulder knock.
The Englishman, therefore, could be rested for Wednesday’s affair against the Portuguese outfit. In any case, the midweek encounter will not be a crucial game for Los Blancos.
With three wins on the trot, Real Madrid are in pole position to top Group C. A win against Braga this midweek will also help them seal a place in the Round of 16.
When will Bellingham return?
The update from Aguirre suggests Bellingham could make his return against Valencia on the weekend, where he is expected to start from kickoff as usual.
That will be the final league game before the third international break of the season. Real Madrid, though, would likely prefer that Bellingham does not receive too much action during the break.
Nevertheless, the Englishman’s shoulder knock is not that concerning and he should be able to ride it out in the days to come.
With Bellingham potentially missing this midweek, Ancelotti may have the chance to try his luck with some of the lesser-used players in the squad, including Arda Guler and Nico Paz among players in contention to feature.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.