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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid fear five key players being involved in play-offs

Cristiano, Bale, Modric, Kovacic and Varane are potential absentees with Croatia and Wales facing possible elimination with defeat against Ukraine and Ireland respectively.

MadridUpdate:
Football Soccer - Portugal training session - World Cup 2018 Qualifiers - Oeiras, Portugal - October 9, 2017 - Portugal's national soccer team player Cristiano Ronaldo attends a training session.
PEDRO NUNESREUTERS

Real Madrid are following developments in the UEFA zone World Cup qualifying campaign with close interest given that five key players could potentially be involved in a play-off to secure a final ticket for Russia 2018.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Croatia vs Finland - Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia - October 6, 2017 Croatia's Luka Modric looks dejected after the match
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Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Croatia vs Finland - Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek, Croatia - October 6, 2017 Croatia's Luka Modric looks dejected after the matchANTONIO BRONICREUTERS

The affected players are: Cristiano (Portugal), Bale (Wales), Modric, Kovacic (Croatia) and Varane (France) with the latest round of fixtures key in establishing who has a ticket to Russia and what sides will have to undergo a home and away play-off in November with a Madrid derby looming for Zidane's men just days after the second leg.

The UEFA play-off dates are scheduled with first legs taking place on and between November 9-11 with the return fixtures being played on November 12-14 (inclusive). 

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