Today's round up features the on-loan Morocco international, Dani Carvajal back in training and the bookies' take on El Clásico and LaLiga.
Vinicius cleared for Clásico
The young Brazilian forward will be available for the game against Barça in Camp Nou after LaLiga’s appeals committee overturned one of the yellow cards Vinicius picked up against Celta B last weekend. Madrid appealed against the second yellow, which was awarded for diving, leaving the 18-year-old free to be selected by Julen Lopetegui for Sunday’s game.
Carvajal back in training
Real’s main issue ahead of the Clásico is who to play on the right of defence in the continuing absence of Dani Carvajal. The Spain international picked up a hamstring injury during the Champions League defeat against CSKA Moscow but was back on the training pitch at Valdebebas on Friday working without the ball. Nacho is the front-runner to stand in for Carvajal in Camp Nou.
Achraf finding his feet
Another Real right back, Achraf Hakimi, was a key figure in Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 drubbing of Atlético in the Champions League. The Morocco international is on loan at the Bundesliga club until 2020 and has made himself indispensable already. Against Atlético he started at left back and provided three assists as Dortmund inflicted the heaviest defeat of Diego Simeone’s managerial career.
Modric looking for Ballon d’Or boost
The Croatian hasn’t had the best start to the season after his World Cup heroics and has moved down the list of nominees with some bookmakers for the 2018 award. A good performance in the Clásico would go some way to rectifying that but Modric hasn’t had much luck on his trips to Camp Nou. Since arriving from Tottenham in 2012, he has played in five Clásicos at Camp Nou but has only been on the winning side once, a 2-1 victory in 2016 with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo on the score sheet.
Barça huge Liga favourites
Real Madrid have also been dropping in the betting stakes with the majority of bookies having Barça as clear favourites to win the league. Lopetegui’s side are as long as 5/1 in some places with Barça out ahead at odds as low as 1.5/1 with most betting houses. In terms of the Clásico, Barça are generally priced around 2/1 for a home victory, with a Real win paying out at closer to 4/1.