REAL MADRID

Vinicius tests negative for Covid-19

After an initial test in the morning, a second test showed that the Brazilian was not infected with the coronavirus. He will be available for the Alavés game on Friday evening.

Vinicius tests negative for Covid-19
Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa

Vinicius Junior (19 years old) has tested negative for coronavirus, according to sources consulted by this newspaper. Real Madrid's Brazilian striker had a test on Thursday morning that gave an inconclusive result, however he underwent a second test which showed he is not infected with Covid-19.

After the inconclusive test in the morning, prior to the training session ahead of the LaLiga match against Alavés on Friday night, Vinicius informed the club who activated their pandemic protocols and explained to the player he was not to come to the Valdebebas facilities, and should stay at home until a doctor could repeat the test.

Vinicius underwent the second, conclusive, test soon after which showed he was not infected and informed the club of the news, which means he can be called up for the vital LaLiga game against Alavés. Real Madrid are one point ahead of Barcelona at the top of the table, with this game in hand.

Zidane explained in his press conference that the Covid-19 test which the players are subjected to two days before every game "didn't turn out well" and for that reason, the Brazilian was unable to train: "It doesn't mean he has coronavirus, it's just that sometimes the test produces errors and so he has to have another one. He had a second test this morning and we'll have the results this afternoon. There's no problem and the most probable situation is that he will be with us tomorrow," Zidane explained.

Problems for Zidane for Real Madrid - Alavés

Problems however continue to stack up for Zinedine Zidane ahead of tomorrow's game against Alavés. The Real Madrid coach was already without three defenders for the match - Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Nacho, and now it looks like he will also be missing Marcelo, who didn't train with the rest of the squad out on the practice pitches in Valdebebas this morning.

Hazard training as normal

One player who was able to train as normal was Eden Hazard. The Belgian forward started Wednesday's session but ended working out on his own inside the gym.

Marcelo's absence complicates matters even more for Zidane who already faced a task of rustling up a back four for the Alavés game. Ramos and Carvajal are both suspended after picking up their fifth booking in Bilbao and Nacho is still training alone while recovering from a hamstring injury.

Before this morning's session, the solution Zidane had in mind was to pair Militao and Varane in central defence, Marcelo at left-back and Mendy at right-back - a position he has played in before with Lyon. Mendy switched over to the right flank for the second half of the Eibar game, substituting Carvajal, who went off after taking a knock. But with Marcelo now doubtful, Mendy will have to play at left-back tomorrow.

Zidane has several alternatives to cover at right-back. Militao played in that position against Mallorca and Betis and has also played out wide for Brazil  and with his previous club Porto. Moving Militao out to the right would present an opportunity for Castilla's Javi Hernández to partner Varane in central defence. Another option would be to deploy Lucas Vázquez at right-back, a position he knows from past experience. The third option would be to field Mendy at right-back and Javi Hernández on the opposite wing.