REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Carvajal to miss Super Cup semi-final date with Athletic

The right-back suffered a minor muscular injury during the Celta game 10 days agoand will miss the Super Cup semi-final against Athletic on Thursday.

Madrid

Dani Carvajal turned 29 turned today but it was a bittersweet birthday for the Real Madrid full-back. He will be unavailable for Thursday's Spanish Super Cup meeting with Athletic Club in Málaga - a game he was hoping to be back for. Zidane's first-choice at right-back (Lucas Vázquez has done well deputising in the position) suffered a tight muscle in the Celta game 10 days ago and asked to be taken off. He was shown a yellow card by the ref who thought he was time-wasting - it was his fifth booking, so he was suspended for the Osasuna game. But his muscular  problems persist, although the club has not emitted a medical report. Sources have told AS that the defender has suffered a minor injury and won't be travelling to Málaga for this week's Super Cup semi-final at La Rosaleda. What isn't clear is whether he might be able to return if Madrid manage to make the final, where they would meet either Barcelona or Real Sociedad which will be played on Sunday at La Cartuja in Seville. Bearing in mind that he spent last week training inside the gym and the heavy snowfall has stopped him from going to Valdebebas this week, it is unlikely that he will be risked. Carvajal has suffered fitness problems more than usual this season - on 2 October he tore the lateral internal in his right knee which kept him sidelined for two months. Zidane fielded Lucas Vázquez or Nacho in his place and both performed well in the position.

Odriozola ostracised

The big surprise is that Álvaro Odriozola, the natural choice to come into the side whenever Carvajal is unavailable, has not played a single minute since 30 September. He joined from Real Sociedad in 2018 for 30 million euros but has hardly figured. He doesn't figure in Zidane's plans and a year ago he was loaned out to Bayern Munich to gain more playing time but he hardly play there either. Marcelino is keen for him to form part of his new project at Athletic - a plan which Madrid would be open to. While Zidane is in charge, Odriozola is not going to play. When Carvajal is out, the coach has called on Lucas and Nacho - and even Militão...

Carvajal has played 290 games for Real Madrid, scoring seven goals and has 47 assists. He is also a regular for Luis Enrique's Spain side. Injuries apart, Carvajal is in the best moment of his  professional career (Transfermarkt value him at 40 million euros) as well as off the field (he was a father for the first time on 9 December).