It seems this season’s first El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is going to be an injury-hit one. Both the teams have confirmed a number of injuries in their squads as two depleted teams are expected on Sunday. Barcelona were already throw into an injury crisis as Real have joined them now. The Los Blancos have started the season with a bang, picking 10 wins from 12 games in all competitions.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men will now welcome table toppers Barcelona next, as they will hope to exact their revenge from last season heavy loss at home. Moreover, a win could also help them reclaim their top spot in La Liga which they lost to the Catalans after Osasuna spoiled their 100% record in the league. Ancelotti will be desperate to have a fully-fit team for the clash, but has received some disappointing news from the club’s medical team.
Three Real Madrid players missing from training ahead of Clasico
Real Madrid have enjoyed a near perfect start to their new season, after clinching a record 14th Champions League and the La Liga title last season. However, injuries have been a concern for Ancelotti who has had to deal with them more often than last season. The Italian once again steered his side to the knockouts of the Champions League in a draw against Shakhtar Donetsk, but lost center-back Antonio Rudiger in the process.
The German scored the late equalizer for the Los Blancos, but sustained a heavy collision with Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin. Rudiger suffered a massive blow to his forehead which required stitches to stop the ceaseless flow of blood. The defender took a huge collision as fans got worried about some serious injury. However, he updated he is in good health post the game but has been unable to train with his teammates and looks set to miss his first ever El Clasico.
Meanwhile, Real are slated to miss the services of their first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as well. The Belgian has suffered a back injury in September and has since been unable to take the field. He has missed 5 games so far for the Los Blancos as Andriy Lunin has deputised for the 30-year-old. Nonetheless, Lunin has fared decently for the reigning Spanish champions conceding 3 goals in 4 games.
Another miss for Ancelotti will be his midfielder Dani Ceballos, who appeared to pick a hamstring knock in training last week as later tests revealed the 26-year-old sustained an injury to his femoral bicep. Ceballos has already found regular game time hard to come by given the abundance of talent present in the Real midfield, and the injury is only going to make it worse for the Spaniard.
Ancelotti will have to make do without these three stars on Sunday, as his counterpart Xavi too will miss a number of key players. Barcelona have a total of five injuries in their squad as Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde, Hector Bellerin and Memphis Depay are all on sidelines for the crucial game. However, recent reports have tipped that summer recruit Kounde could be available for selection but the Catalans are yet to confirm the same.