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Rival watch: Real Sociedad will have eight players missing for Real Madrid clash



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid will lock horns with Real Sociedad in a crucial encounter in La Liga on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Blancos are just three points ahead of Imanol Alguacil’s side heading into the game. A defeat here could see them lose further ground in the La Liga title race, with leaders Barcelona already having a three-point lead.

It has not helped Real Madrid’s cause that they are dealing with a host of injury and fitness problems leading up to the match.

But, in some form of relief, the Merengues are not the only ones going into the contest with a myriad of injury troubles.

According to MARCA, Real Sociedad themselves are set to be without as many as eight players for the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Indeed, the Basque outfit will have to make do without key players in Mikel Merino (hamstring) and David Silva (calf), who missed the midweek Copa del Rey clash against Barcelona which ended in a 1-0 loss.

Apart from the midfield duo, Real Sociedad will also be without right-backs Andoni Gorosabel (ankle) and Alex Sola (hamstring) while centre-back Jon Pacheco (ankle) is also ruled out of the contest.

Ander Guevara also remains unavailable for selection as he continues to recover from an ankle issue.

Meanwhile, forward Umar Sadiq is nursing a cruciate ligament rupture and remains sidelined while fellow attacker Momo Cho will also not be at Alguacil’s disposal due to an ankle problem.

Given the number of problems in the squad, the Real Sociedad manager could decide to go in with the same team that started in midweek against Barcelona at Camp Nou.

It would mean that former Real Madrid youngster Takefusa Kubo could start at the Bernabeu. The Japanese international had a decent game against Barça and could pose problems for the Merengues come Sunday.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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