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Real Madrid veteran ruled out of upcoming clash against Alaves, could return vs Mallorca

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this month, Dani Carvajal suffered a calf injury against Granada, and it was believed that the veteran will not be playing again in 2023.

But recent reports had suggested that the Spanish international’s recovery had gone much faster than initially anticipated, potentially paving the way for him to face Alaves later this week, in the team’s last game in 2023.

Carvajal down for the count

However, set to face off against Alaves this Thursday, Carvajal’s participation is beginning to look highly improbable as he has yet to make a full recovery.

According to The Athletic’s Guillermo Rai, Carvajal is discarded for the Alaves game.

Carvajal had been in scintillating form for Real Madrid this season prior to his injury. He has four goal contributions thus far and has proven to be a reliable asset defensively throughout the first half of the campaign.

But for now, he will be unavailable against Alaves and is expected to make a comeback against Mallorca on January 3.

Team riddled with injuries

Real Madrid’s entire starting defence is out of the Alaves clash due to injury-related concerns.

David Alaba and Eder Militao face considerable time out on the sidelines, with Alaba’s season coming to an end after he tore his ACL against Villarreal.

Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy and Carvajal are unavailable for the game either with the former being out for ten days.

Apart from the injuries in defence, the midfield and attacking departments face similar grievances.

But despite their ongoing injury problems this season, Carlo Ancelotti’s team has performed admirably, sitting second in La Liga and earning a spot in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 with five straight victories.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid identify two major areas of threat from Borussia Dortmund

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The players in the Real Madrid dressing room are well aware that they are considered the favourites for the upcoming Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund. 

According to journalist Jorge Picon, the team’s performance in the final stages of the season has boosted their confidence and everyone in the squad believes they have a great chance of winning the final.

Despite this, though, there are some concerns about one player and two potential threats from the opposition. 

Now, Real Madrid are good at handling the pressure that comes with being the favourites, but they know that Dortmund are a team that cannot be underestimated.

Real Madrid aware of the threat Dortmund pose

This confidence, however, does not translate into arrogance. Real Madrid understand that Dortmund have the ability to cause them problems. 

To address this, manager Carlo Ancelotti must focus on two key challenges: dealing with offensive transitions and defending set pieces.

Dortmund are not a team that exert high pressure on their opponents, but they are very dangerous on the counterattack. 

Borussia Dortmund are very dangerous in set pieces. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

They play a direct and vertical style of football, relying on quick, few-touch plays to move the ball up the field. Instead of building play slowly from the back, they often utilise Mats Hummels’ ability to make precise long passes to players running behind the defence.

In terms of set pieces, Dortmund pose a significant threat with their tall players, as Niclas Fullkrug, Mats Hummels, and Nico Schlotterbeck are all over 1.90 meters tall, making them dangerous targets during corner kicks and free kicks.

Dortmund’s forwards are quick

Speed is another factor that Real Madrid need to be wary of. This is because Karim Adeyemi is a particularly fast player who can break through defensive lines with his runs. 

He usually plays on the wing and can switch sides with Jadon Sancho, but Adeyemi is considered Dortmund’s main offensive weapon due to his pace and ability to exploit spaces. 

While Sancho is also a skilled dribbler who can take on defenders one-on-one, Real Madrid has two reliable full-backs in Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy who will be tasked with stopping him.

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