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Rival watch: Real Madrid handed boost as Bayern Munich duo doubts for UCL clash

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid defended their status as the kings of the Champions League earlier this week, downing Pep Guardiola’s mighty Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium after a nervy encounter.

The win in the quarterfinal sees Los Blancos move to the final-four stage of the event where they lock horns with Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.

Thomas Tuchel’s side eliminated Arsenal to book a slot in the semifinal and will prove to be the next big hurdle for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

The first leg will be played at Allianz Arena on the 30th of April with the second leg scheduled for a week later in Madrid.

Two big blows

Less than two weeks remain before the first leg of the Champions League semifinal kicks off, and SPORT reveals that Tuchel risks missing the presence of two key stars through injury for the game.

Speaking to the media ahead of Bayern Munich’s clash against Union Berlin, the German manager confirmed the status of both injured stars – Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry – and provided an update on their availability.

“For Serge Gnabry it will be a time trial race before the match against Real Madrid. With Leroy Sané it will be a race against pain.”

“We will probably not take Leroy to Berlin, it is very unlikely. We will sit down with the physios and the players this afternoon and see who is really painless,” he added on the dup’s immediate status.

Tuchel sweating over the availability of two key players. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Gnabry sustained an injury to his left hamstring in Bayern Munich’s first leg against Arsenal, and his participation against Real Madrid in Munich is almost ruled out.

Sane, meanwhile, has a better chance of making it back in time but his participation will depend on his sensations and pain at the time.

A stiff challenge

Bayern Munich have not had the best of domestic campaigns this year, with Bayer Leverkusen breaking their run of 11 consecutive league titles last week by winning the Bundesliga.

Now no longer in contention for the Bundesliga title, Bayern Munich only have the Champions League to focus on. If anything, that only complicates the case for Real Madrid who still have to fight on two fronts.

“Bayern is up next, and they have beaten a strong Arsenal team. They are dangerous because they only have the Champions League left [to fight for],” Toni Kroos said in a recent interview, hinting at the same.

Two absences from Bayern’s camp will thus go a long way in helping Real Madrid secure a positive result away from home and set up for a grand second leg at home. They are, after all, the favourites as it stands.

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Real Madrid News

‘Me and Zizou…’ – Toni Kroos teases iconic team-up for Real Madrid Legends team

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has said that during a recent training session, he bumped into Raul, a former striker and current Castilla manager, who confessed to him that he did not like his decision to retire from the game.

The midfielder added that he would now be interested in playing the Legends match where the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos and Raul participate. 

The veteran admitted that playing alongside these legends one day would be quite exciting.

“When I left the training yesterday, Raul was outside. He told me that he did not like the decision at first but found something positive because now I’m definitely playing this legends game with him,” said Kroos on his podcast

“He said I had to be there. Me and Zizou playing behind him, Figo on the right, and RC3 (Roberto Carlos) at the back. That could be funny,” he added.

Life after Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos would love to play with Zinedine Zidane. (Photo credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

During the early hours of Tuesday, May 21, Kroos announced that he would retire from professional football after the upcoming European Championship in his home country.

As a result, Real Madrid now have to work on an alternate strategy to plan life beyond Kroos. As suggested before, the Los Blancos are of the idea that at present, there is no one in the market who can fill the void.

On the other hand, though, Dani Ceballos’ chances of staying have now increased. At the same time, there are reports that Joshua Kimmich is being monitored, but nothing seems concrete yet.

For now, Real Madrid are largely expected to rely on the current roster as the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and even Jude Bellingham are more than capable of occupying Kroos’ position.

If even that does not work out, the team from the Spanish capital can look into the youth system to rope in a capable alternative.

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