Real Madrid Faces Squad Challenges Ahead of Champions League Debut

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Football

Less than a week away from Real Madrid ‘s Champions League debut, scheduled for the 20th against Union Berlin at the Santiago Bernabéu, coach Carlo Ancelotti faces a challenge as he only has 17 outfield players available for the match. This includes full-back Ferland Mendy and midfielder Dani Ceballos, both returning from injuries and not yet fit to play the full 90 minutes.

According to information from the Spanish newspaper “Marca,” during the FIFA international break, only five players from the first team were able to train fully: Lucas Vázquez, Nacho Fernández, Brahim Díaz, Tony Kroos, and Fran García. Mendy and Ceballos participated in training partially, alternating between the field and specific recovery activities.

Starting from Thursday, Ancelotti will have an additional ten outfield players and goalkeepers Kepa and Lunin at his disposal, all returning after representing their national teams during the FIFA break. This will be the group available to face an important period of the season.

Ancelotti has suffered the loss of three starters at the beginning of the season: goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defender Éder Militão, and forward Vinicius Junior. Courtois and Militão, both with serious knee injuries, are expected to return to the pitch next year. Vinicius Junior, dealing with a muscular injury since the end of August, is working to try to make a comeback on the 24th in the classic match against Atlético de Madrid, as reported by “Marca.” In addition to these significant absences, Ancelotti also couldn’t count on the substitutes Mendy and Ceballos, who have been injured since the preseason in July.

So far, the absences in the squad have not hindered Real Madrid, which leads the Spanish La Liga with 12 points. However, the team will face a challenge in the next 21 days with seven matches, including two in the Champions League and five in the Spanish league, starting this Sunday against Real Sociedad at home.

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