Ramos' absence often spells trouble for Madrid
The Madrid captain is suspended for the Levante game on Sunday. In the four games Madrid have been without their skipper this season, they have lost three.
So far this season, Real Madrid have struggled without Sergio Ramos at the heart of their defence. The Madrid captain has missed four games this campaign, and Madrid have lost three of them: both Champions League ties against CSKA Moscow (1-0 and 0-3), and against Leganés (1-0) in the Copa del Rey. Los Blancos have only tasted victory once without Ramos, in a 6-1 win over Melilla, also in the cup.
Ramos will miss Real's game against Levante on Sunday through suspension, leaving Solari with a defensive headache, particularly in view of the 29 goals shipped in 24 league games. Similar to Benzema this campaign, Ramos has featured in almost every match, playing 37 out of a possible 41 (90% of the total). In other words, 3,212, minutes on the pitch, more than any other player. Ramos was the first name on the team sheet for Lopetegui, as he is for Solari, and has also scored an impressive 11 goals in those 37 games - only Benzema (19 goals) and Bale (12) have scored more.
Levante and Barcelona
Against Levante Madrid will have to find a way of filling a Ramos-shaped hole, although he is set to return against Barcelona in their next game. Should he see yellow in El Clásico, however (he has been booked in 17 out of 42 games against Barça), he would miss the next game against Valladolid on 10 March. In the Champions League, meanwhile, Ramos will miss the return leg against Ajax at the Bernabéu, also through suspension.
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