OGUN, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)-Real Madrid though already through, face Napoli in Group C of the Champions League while dealing with several injury absences.
Talking too much about the problems we have and the absentees seems disrespectful to the players who will be out on the pitch tomorrow,” Ancelotti noted while discussing with his pre-match press conference on the eve of the Group C matchday-five game.
Madrid, who are already through to the last 16, face Napoli without eight injured players: Thibaut Courtois (ACL), Kepa Arrizabalaga (groin), Éder Militão (ACL), Eduardo Camavinga (knee), Aurélien Tchouaméni (foot), Luka Modric (hamstring), Arda Güler (thigh) and Vinícius Júnior (hamstring).
Dani Ceballos could get his first start for the 14-time European champions since in June amidst Madrid’s recent wave of absences. The midfielder made his La Liga comeback against Cádiz on Sunday, coming on as a second-half replacement after a seven-week injury absence.
Ancelotti is also able to name three ‘B’-team players – Mario Martín, Nico Paz and Théo Zidane – on the bench at the Bernabéu
Meanwhile, centre-back David Alaba is expected to return to the line-up after being rested at the weekend, and Brahim Díaz is also in line to come back in, having been an 11th-hour drop-out in Andalusia due to “intestinal problems”.
Joselu is likely to make way for Brahim, who is set to partner Rodrygo Goes up front. The Brazilian, who scored a brace against Cádiz, has eased concerns over the state of his knee in training ahead of the visit of Napoli.
In goal, Andriy Lunin will continue to deputise in the absence of Courtois and Kepa – but, with the latter closing in on a return, this could be the Ukrainian’s final start for now.
The Potential line up are therefore Lunin, Carvajal, Rüdiger, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Valverde, Ceballos, Bellingham; Brahim, Rodrygo.