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Rival watch: Liverpool veteran to miss Real Madrid clash due to illness

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Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Liverpool will take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie away at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

On the eve of the game, The Athletic is reporting that the Reds’ captain and veteran midfielder Jordan Henderson is set to miss the match due to illness.

Meanwhile, young prospect Stefan Bajcetic also missed training today casting doubts on his involvement. However, the teenage prospect has travelled to Madrid and a final call on his availability could likely be taken on the day of the game.

Henderson has been a regular in the side for Liverpool this season, racking up 31 appearances across all competitions, in which he has two assists.

The 32-year-old, who has played more than 400 matches for the Reds, would have been a handy presence in midfield as his team look to overturn a three-goal deficit from the first leg at Anfield. But, Henderson will not be taking part in the game at the Santiago Bernabeu.

As for Bajcetic, the 18-year-old is growing in prominence this season under Klopp and has been playing very regularly since the turn of the year. And the Liverpool manager will be hoping that the youngster will be ready to play some part tomorrow.

Henderson joins fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara (hip) on the sidelines, leaving Klopp with limited options when it comes to his starters in the centre of the park.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti devises plan to prepare Real Madrid defensive ace for Bayern Munich clash

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Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Eder Militao has charted a remarkable recovery to return from an ACL injury he suffered on the first day of the 2023/24 season.

The Brazilian international came back to action in late March, featuring for a couple of minutes against Athletic Club – the very team against whom he had sustained the injury.

Following that, the centre-back has also featured sparingly in games against Mallorca and Manchester City, although he is yet to start a game.

Ancelotti has plan for Militao

Now, AS reports that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has devised a plan for Militao to be ready to go when the team face Bayern Munich later this month in the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg.

Militao is expected to play an important role in the Champions League semi-finals. The coaching staff is counting on him to reinforce the team’s defensive capabilities.

The first phase of his reintegration into the dynamics of the competition, which was more psychological than physical, has already been completed.

Ancelotti has a plan for Militao. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ancelotti, who has now drawn up a special plan to give him minutes in order to get him ready (physically) for the semi-finals.

First Militao will be used in the Clásico today, depending on how the game goes. Then against Real Sociedad next week, on this occasion, the Brazilian could even likely be a starter.

At centre-back or right-back

Militao will have options to play against Bayern Munich in the centre of defence, alongside Antonio Rudiger, but also at right-back, as Dani Carvajal will miss the game because he picked up his third yellow card of the season at the Etihad.

It will all depend on how the Brazilian performs in the two remaining games against Barça and Real Sociedad before the UCL semi-final first leg on 30 April.

For the second leg, on 8 May, at the Bernabeu, Militao will compete on equal terms with the rest of the back four. There will be one more game between the two contests, against Cadiz, for him to get minutes. That’s what Ancelotti is counting on with the Brazilian.

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